My name is Katie, and I am a survivor of the Volkswagen Emission Scandal. I feel like I have just emerged from an emotionally abusive relationship with a Jetta. Since the VW scandal broke in September 2015, I have been eagerly awaiting the day I could trade in the hunk-o-junk for a much kinder vehicle that would love me the way I deserve to be loved.
This might go without saying, but let me preface this post by telling you that I am not a car person. When friends asked me what I was looking for in my next car, I simply said that it needed to start and have a radio that worked. Expectations were low. But when I really thought about it, I simply wanted a reliable car. No bells and whistles needed here!
I did some light research before my trade-in appointment, spoke with people who knew some things about cars, and decided I wanted a used Toyota. I hastily checked the dealership website before my trade-in appointment, and they happened to have a cute 2015 Toyota Corolla on their lot. So when I finalized the paperwork and handed over my keys to the Jetta, I asked if I could test drive the Corolla I had seen online.
I was passed off to a woman named Madison Davis, a friendly sales consultant. After some light conversation about my embarrassingly low vehicle standards, we took the Corolla for a test drive around the suburbs. And guess what? It checked all my boxes! It started and the radio worked. As I sat back down with Madison to talk more about purchasing the vehicle, I had a pit in my stomach. Should I be looking at more cars? Maybe my research wasn’t sufficient? Was I being ridiculous with such low standards?
But the more I thought about it, I came to the realization that cars are cars and time is money. I thought about how much more work I would have to put into test driving, researching my options and chatting about tires, when I would probably end up with a relatively similar vehicle to the one I just test drove.
Looking around the sales floor, I realized Madison was vastly outnumbered by her male colleagues. Of the 9 sales consultants at this particular dealership, only 2 were women. In fact, after a quick Google search of other car dealerships in the Twin Cities Metro, I found that 2 car saleswomen was actually quite good. Most had just one woman sales consultant, and others had none at all.
And then it hit me. I asked Madison, “Are you going to get commission off of this?” She politely said, “Yes.”
I was sold.
I don’t think the lack of women in car sales is necessarily surprising, but in the theme of Yes Way! I wanted to put my money where my mouth was. The dealership may not be owned by a woman, but this woman was about to make money off of this purchase. So if you are looking to support women in a male-dominated profession like car sales, I recommend doing a little research before heading to your local dealership. They usually have a list of the sales team on the dealership website. And to make sure the woman sales consultant is legit and knowledgeable (because buying a car is a big deal!), read her review on this handy website.
Stay tuned for an interview with Madison, about what it’s like working as a woman in a male-dominated profession. To be continued… xoxo