Truth test: Sexuality remains alive and flourishing in the automotive industry.
Automotive News surfaced last month with Elephant from the Valley, a “group of Silicon Valley executives and investigators from Stanford University who have a look at sexism from the tech world in 2016,” and accommodated its own survey into the automotive sector. You will be shocked by the results.
Nearly 900 women responded with participants reporting that they still confront biases some incidents so bad they leave the business. The survey, conducted this past spring, centered on feedback: four chief areas of questioning and promotion; harassment and safety; addition; and unconscious bias.
The responses indicated that sexism is still rampant in the market, with respondents reporting inappropriate questions asked through hiring procedure, expectations to carry out lower-level activities despite executive names, exclusion from after-work social occasions, along with many, lots of unwanted sexual advances from bosses, colleagues, and clients alike.
In the wake of this Harvey Weinstein scandal on October 5, that saw the Hollywood producer reaching at least eight settlements within allegations of sexual harassment and several additional accounts of harassment, women in various industries have come forth with their own stories of sexual abuse and harassment. Unfortunately, and shamefully, our industry is just one of the greatest culprits.
Because of the anonymity given by the Project XX survey, women opened up in their experiences. Obtaining those stories are more difficult to do if it’s on-the-record, with businesses turning the requests of Automotive News down for interviews with female executives and other firms requesting anonymity.
“It has been stimulation for dialogue,” explained Michele Madansky, co-author of their Elephant from the Valley survey. “There are so many men in Silicon Valley who are such amazing men, and they didn’t have a clue that this was happening. The poll was opening up eyes and makes everybody more conscious of what’s going on.”
“The wider industry still has a way to go when it comes to listening to us when we speak up about the difficulties we still face in the working world,” said a respondent. “Many individuals who have worked in the industry for a long time perpetuate the ‘this is the way things are’ mindset, which makes it hard to be taken seriously once you whine about sexist treatment by a client or colleague.
“The survey was utilised in three industries besides automotive: advertisements, Silicon Valley, and advertising research.Of the four surveyed industries, the automobile industry had the highest reported rates of unwanted sexual advances (65 percent), assignment of lower-level tasks than men (65 percent), and feeling unsafe on the job (25 per cent).
It’s still prevalent in the industry today, even though sexism is a different beast than it had been previously, when girls say they confronted open harassment on the job. Mary Barra’s rise to CEO of General Motors (which makes her the first chief executive of an automobile manufacturer) is viewed as an important moment for women in the auto industry, however sexism lingers on.
“Automotive isalso, by far, the very sexist industry I’ve worked in,” said one survey respondent. “The problems facing women working in automotive are a lot more intense and the sexism much deeper compared to other sectors. It’s a complete shame and an embarrassment.”
“Many individuals are good and would like to do the right thing,” Madansky stated. “They aren’t aware of these nuances or just how tough it is for women over the years when they always have to address these behaviors.” 55 percent of respondents said they’ve gotten comments such as being advised by a manager to wear skirts, on their physical appearance, as well as psychologist to show off more of their breasts.
“I was once told I should change my clothes (I was in a dress my mom bought me) until I left a presentation because the participants would be too busy thinking about what was under the dress than that which I have to mention,” said one woman.
While 47 percent of the U.S. labor force is composed of girls, only 24 percent of the auto industry contains women, based on some 2015 research by Deloitte and Automotive News.
43 percent of survey respondents stated they believed that they had been passed over for promotions because of their sex. Others have been told that they weren’t considered for promotions because of kids (i.e., insufficient perceived moment to commit to the occupation). Respondents reported being passed over for international assignments because supervisors thought that the job will be “too preoccupied to their families.”
Told Automotive News regarding her encounter for an automotive business. Upon obtaining the degree she asked her boss if she could maneuver within the business into an engineering group for her Master of Science and the business paid. Her supervisor, a chief engineer, denied her request because he was “measured by the amount of diversity onto his team.”
“He had been hanging onto me because he had to have a check mark at the diversity box within his company. He found me fair and square, and he wouldn’t let me go,” she explained.
Harassment and Safety
Of the women surveyed, 25 percent said they have felt unsafe or in a work environment sooner or later. One lady reported hearing her male co-workers making competitive statements like, “nobody will have the ability to hear you scream back here” on the production plant floor, along with others reported undesirable or worrisome situations after an evening of beverages at a work event, or perhaps being followed back into their cars or hotel rooms.
The turnover rate for female salespeople from 2016 was 96 percent, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association’s 2017 Dealership Workforce Study. This turnover might be caused by many reasons, said safety on the job, Hireology CEO Adam Robinson.
“Traders should be worried about the security of all employees,” said Robinson. “So if a female worker communicates that she doesn’t feel secure at work, a trader has a duty to do something about it.”
Robinson noted that it is important to be educated, not really waiting for complaints regarding dangerous workspaces. Women are often reluctant to document complaints or report issues, worried that their anxieties might be marginalized at a male-dominated atmosphere.
63 percent of survey respondents reported to be excluded from industry events because of their sex, and 57 percent reported they missed societal and media outings due to their sex.
A massive number women reported being excluded from job or after-work events like “driving cars at the track, soccer games, drinks out after a meeting since the men want to ‘just relax,’ band trips to strip clubs, hunting excursions, golf matchesand meetings with key employees, and visits to cigar lounges.”
Conversely, other women reported being encouraged to attend events, a few to the purpose of having their calendars overloaded with occasions since the firm wanted a woman representing them.Other nevertheless dealt with “awkward” scenarios in the office events occurring in less-than-comfortable places, including Hooters, Tilted Kilt, as well as strip clubs.
“As long as you are prepared to take part in a generally male event, you are able to ‘tag along,”’ stated one respondent. “It isn’t the preferred approach, but no one would knowingly stop you.”
“The boys like certain team-building events which they do not consider proper for women,” stated another. “I very much agree that some events are embarrassing for girls, however, a team ought to consider events that are appropriate in a business environment.”
Girls can tell if the biases come out to play, and they’re able to tell when they are passed over or ignored because of their sex. 83 percent of respondents said that coworkers and customers address questions when they should be treated to the woman, and 71 percent said that male coworkers and customers don’t make eye contact during encounters with them.
84 percent have heard remarks and 64 percent are requested to carry out tasks that their male peers aren’t asked to perform.
“Irrespective of my place in my business, that is now sales manager, I am requested to do menial tasks like buying gifts, organizing food for meetings, and making dinner reservations,” said one respondent. “When I push back, I’m accused of pulling the women’s lib card.”
Other women surveyed said they were asked to sponsor bake sales, arrange flowers, make posters, wash the workplace, take notes, make travel order, etc., while their male counterparts weren’t requested to perform the same, frequently time-consuming things.
“I needed to establish boundaries early on since I had been requested to do secretary-type work, that has nothing more to do with my real job,” said another respondent.
A number of the comments in the survey acknowledge that matters have improved, or at least appear to have enhanced, in the sector over the previous 30 years.
“There is a general consensus that treatment of girls in the workplace is better now than when I began from the 80s, but do we really understand that?” One respondent asked.
There are the networks of women at automotive companies, ranging from formal to casual, powerful to not-so-effective. Overall, however, the respondents also stated that the classes aren’t helping address the “elephant-size issues” they cope with everyday.”
The majority of guys are acting with their very best intentions without realizing the unwanted consequences, or the differences they’re practicing between sexes,” said one respondent. “That makes it extremely difficult to alter behaviour. How could you get angry with a choice that gives you ‘more time with your household’ or ‘less traveling’?
“Women hope that the poll results’ launch can help spark dialogues involving women and men alike to shift things toward progress.
“I’m tired of fighting every day.”