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What is It Like Working as a Woman in the Car Industry? Stories from Women Carsomers

The car industry is commonly perceived as male-dominated. Think of car mechanics, car dealers, even the technicians that carry out vehicle inspections – you would automatically picture a man.

Yet half of all licensed drivers on the road in Malaysia are female. As gender equality is increasingly becoming a norm, more women are also joining the automotive sector workforce as mechanics, dealers, and inspectors.

Today, we have 30% representation of women in Carsome HQ (Malaysia), 15% in Indonesia and 51% in Thailand. There is more to be done as we strive to build an inclusive workplace to address gender disparity and promote equal opportunities for all.

So, in celebration of International Women’s Day, let’s hear from some of the women of Carsome about working in the automotive world.

Juliet Zhu, Group President and Chief Financial Officer

Being in a male-dominated industry and with our massive expansion, our gender demographics are fast changing. Today, our female colleagues contribute close to 30% of the total workforce in Carsome as compared to 20% of the industry. We have adopted best practices to use inclusive and sustainable language to appeal to a more diverse talent base, and to bring more women into the talent funnel. We’ve set a very strong tone at the top that the company supports the career development of Carsomers, male or female. My recent appointment and promotion is an example of that.

But we need to do more. We need to listen more to the struggles and challenges from conscious to unconscious bias in our workplace. My message to everyone today is change takes time, but change is compounding. With more women joining our company, and more women succeeding in our company, we would like to encourage more talent to consider joining our industry and drive more change.

Ivy Foo Wai Sem, Carsome Consultant

Even though Carsome is in a male-dominated industry, I don’t feel like I’m being treated differently as a woman. The opportunity or treatment given to me is equal to others. It’s surprising how some customers react initially when they know I will be assisting them throughout the whole process of buying a car at Carsome, but over time, they feel confident with me and my ability to assist them. I try to build a relationship with my customers by being honest and transparent, so they will trust me in my advice and recommendations. Ultimately, I want them to feel comfortable and happy to deal with me.

Fatin Farhanah Binti Mohd Rizal Yeow, Carsome Consultant

To be honest, I never once imagined I could join the automotive industry or sell cars because I was not really into cars and knew nothing about the process. Initially, I applied as a receptionist, but I was given an opportunity to be on the team as a Carsome Consultant. At first, I was worried that I couldn’t do well when I first started because I was the only female consultant at Carsome Setiawangsa. But my team was very supportive and taught me a lot of skills. They treated me equally with no double standards, and I gained so much knowledge. From zero experience in the first month, I am now given the trust and responsibility to lead seven other male consultants in Carsome Juru Autocity Penang. Now I can even change a car battery by myself!

Anna Kim Bo Kyung, Regional Head of Creative Labs, Experiential and Partnerships

When I joined Carsome, it was more than just looking at it as an automotive business as I believed in how this is a service that will change the way of buying and selling pre-owned cars. It was the thinking behind it all that intrigued me. The only tough time I had was when a lot of people around me told me that I won’t make it far because it’s a male-dominated industry. But what we do here is a service that benefits everyone and I felt that instantly when I started working here. I feel that Carsome’s transparency and the open-door policy that has been nurtured as a culture gave me the support to keep moving forward, knowing that the response would always be to find a solution together. Most importantly, my colleagues regardless of gender have been my biggest support to do better.

Celebrating Women to Drive Change

At Carsome, our vision to drive Southeast Asia’s automotive industry forward in the used car ecosystem cannot be done without the support and expertise of everyone in the team regardless of gender. Thus, our goal of building an inclusive workplace is also part of our commitment to empower women to drive change in the automotive industry.

Happy International Women’s Day, from all of us at Carsome!

Devan S
Devan S
Devan believes written content is here to stay despite our depleting attention span and the rise of short videos. He loves four and two-wheeled vehicles, and movies of all makes and models.
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