Chevrolet PH lauds female leaders in auto retail

Chevrolet PH lauds female leaders in auto retail

MANILA: In celebration of International Women’s Day, Chevrolet Philippines honors its female leaders who have played big roles in the brand’s progressive growth in the country.

General Motors (GM), the parent company of Chevrolet, has been highly recognized for implementing gender equality and diverse representation within the workplace. GM was hailed by Equileap in 2019 as the top company in US when it comes to gender equality promotion. The company has also become a part of Bloomberg’s 2021 Gender Equality Index, which measures the performance and transparency of public companies in their efforts to promote gender equality.

GM is the only car manufacturing company in history that has been headed by a female CEO. Incumbent GM CEO Mary Barra has led the company since 2014.  Because of her effective leadership in the company, Barra was recently declared as one of the most successful CEOs in the automotive industry in more than 50 years.

The Covenant Car Company, Inc. (TCCCI), the official importer and distributor of Chevrolet in the Philippines, has adapted the same commitment in promoting gender equality and diversity. At present, 57% of TCCCI’s executive positions are held by women. At the local dealer level, three women lead the operation of six of the 21 Chevrolet dealerships in the country,

Laus Group Holdings, Inc. Vice President and Executive Director Carisa A. Laus (pictured below) has followed the footsteps of her father, the late Levy P. Laus, in making a mark in the automotive retail industry. “My father was a branch manager of a bank when he decided to leave and start his own auto retail business, which he admitted he knew nothing about,” the young Laus shares. Although her father was then a newcomer in the industry, Laus has witnessed the growth of their family venture. Currently, she manages multiple Chevrolet dealerships, carrying her father’s legacy.

Laus Group Holdings, Inc. Vice President and Executive Director Carisa A. Laus (Chevrolet)

The Laus Group inaugurated Chevrolet Pampanga in 2002 and Chevrolet Dagupan in 2005. They started the operations of Chevrolet Ilocos Norte in May 2016 and Chevrolet Baguio in 2018.

With her experience in supervising four Chevrolet dealerships in different regions, Laus has come up with her own leadership style. She stated, “I found that it pays off when you treat each employee uniquely — recognize their individual traits and strengths and bank on them. The same holds true in running our business operations. In as much as we want to standardize our processes, we have to operate differently in each dealership.”

Laus also shared that strength of character, integrity, and credibility are the effective leadership principles that she has gotten from her father.

To keep its commitment of promoting diversity and inclusivity, the Laus Group has given opportunities for passionate and reliable women to lead different departments in their dealerships. Laus believes that both male and female leaders are efficient in handling their roles in the industry. “We bring our team to where we need them to be, but I think it is a given that women leaders are the ones who consciously ensure that there is gender balance in the workplace,” Laus explains. “The automotive industry is changing. Women play a great role in creating more opportunities for (other) women in a once male-dominated business sector.”

Another empowered Chevrolet female leader is Philadelphia Business Initiative, Inc. President Jessica J. Lee. The dealer manages the operations of Chevrolet Greenhills-EDSA.

Just like Laus, Lee has acquired her knowledge in the automotive retail industry through her family. “It was a family business that was passed down from my grandfather. I wanted to continue the legacy,” Lee shares.

As the country faces the challenging COVID-19 pandemic, Lee makes sure that the Greenhills dealership is still able to establish a connection to its customers. She said, “Despite the current situation that we are in, we are able to adapt really fast.” She partnered with sterilizing technology manufacturer, Medklinn Philippines, to guarantee the safety of all their customers and employees. She also focused on the dealership’s digital marketing and sales, introducing convenient online payment options for Chevrolet car buyers.

Lee believes that the combining customer-oriented practices with fresh and innovative ideas results in the company’s growth and success. She stated, “As a leader, I always aim for excellence – in doing what is best. This has to be coupled with creating an environment of ownership and responsibility; earn the trust of your colleagues and treat each other respectfully.”

At present, Lee manages a team of 75 employees. “W>e employ more women in sales and more men in service departments. Sales is no longer a boys’ club. Women have an advantage when it comes to sales as they tend to be more empathetic than men,” Lee explains.

Chevrolet Greenhills-EDSA has strongly implemented gender equality and inclusivity in their workplace, however, Lee still observes some struggles for women in this kind of industry. “I think it’s because women tend to be insecure and have self-doubt brought by the stereotype of the general population that males have more knowledge about cars than females,” Lee says. “We need to add more female representation in this industry.”

Lee is looking forward to having a lady technician in her team, as she believes that women are capable of excelling in any type of job in the automotive retail industry in the country.

Photos from Chevrolet Philippines

Also read: Your Chevy choice: A discount or low down payment

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