Why diversity is key for the Australian automotive industry in 2018

2017 was another impressive year for the Australian motor industry. Based on figures from VFACTS, close to 1.2 million new vehicles were sold last year – a remarkable rise of 0.9 per cent on 2016. 

This result means that the industry's sales numbers have grown four out of the last five years, with FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber explaining the combination of a strong economy and low interest rates being the main causes. 

2018 is expected to be another bumper year with automotive employment likely to be a major factor for business owners. As such, could this be the year that the gender gap in Australia's automotive industry closes?

Analysing the pay gaps

The pay gap between men and women has been well documented over recent times in Australia. However, it's often up to individual employers to look at the way that pay is structured and recruitment works to build diversity. 

The Workplace Gender Equality Agency reports that four in ten (37.7 per cent) Australian employers analysed their  payroll for gender pay gaps. This is a rise of 11 percentage points on the previous 12 months, highlighting a greater focus on equality in the workplace.

Agency Director Libby Lyons explained that a gender pay gap analysis can allow business leaders to discover inconsistencies, especially in male-dominated industries such as finance, mining and automotive.

"You might be amazed at what you uncover once you start to look," she said.

Just 18.5 per cent of automotive retail workers are women, despite 80 per cent of car buying decisions being made by women.

A focus on recruitment

Pay gap analysis is just one part of this complex equation. Based on a 2015 report from the National Automobile Dealers Association, just 18.5 per cent of automotive retail workers are women, despite 80 per cent of car buying decisions being made by women.

Speaking to the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), Managing Partner at Cascade Auto Group Michelle Primm said that it's all about showcasing the industry to women as they select their career.

"There are so many choices. One of the challenges is figuring out how to put these opportunities in the shopping cart when women are doing their research," she said.

In the leadup to the NADA Show in March, the association has launched the #WomenInAutomotive campaign – for women around the world to post videos about why they love the industry and encourage others to enter the sector.

The gender gap in the automotive industry can be reduced, but doing so will require a collaborative effort from employers, candidates and public perception. 

For more information on the services we provide in the automotive space, check out the Bayside Group Automotive website here.