Knowledge Center

Women in the Automotive Industry


Women's participation rates:1

  • Automobile dealers: 21.5%. 
  • Motor vehicle manufacturing: 17.7%.
  • Automotive repair and maintenance: 13.1%


Manufacture of Motor Vehicles, Trailers, and Semi-trailers2
Country   % Women Employed
European Union 24%
Germany 18%
France 17%
Italy 21%
Sweden 22%
United Kingdom 16%



Wholesale and Retail Trade and Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles3
Country   % Women Employed
European Union 16%
Germany 19%
France 19%
Italy 14%
Sweden 15%
United Kingdom 16%



United States

Although Women Are Almost Half of the US Labor Force, They Represent Only About One-Quarter of the Automotive Workforce4

Women hold 26.7% of jobs in the motor vehicles and motor vehicles equipment manufacturing industry.5

  • Women's participation rate is 16.9% at the executive/senior level officials and managers level in the motor vehicle manufacturing industry (2014).6

Women's percentage of employment:7

  • 21.2% of automobile dealers.
  • 7.3% of automotive repair and maintenance employees.

Women of color's participation rate in motor vehicle manufacturing (2014).8

  • Total employment: 8.9%.
  • At the executive/senior level officials and managers level: 2.7%
Women Are Underrepresented Throughout the Automotive Manufacturing Pipeline9 

The industry has difficulty attracting women into entry-level positons.10

  • In a survey of women invarious industries, respondents stated the automotive industry was the least successful at attracting and retaining women.11

  • In 2014, Mary Barra became CEO of General Motors in the United States and the first woman to run a major auto maker.12



Additional Reading

Catalyst, Quick Take: Women in Male-Dominated Industries and Occupations (October 20, 2015).

Deloitte, Minding the Manufacturing Gap: How Manufacturers Can Get Their Fair Share of Women (2015).

Caitlyn Kelly, "Woman’s Touch, Still a Rarity in Car Design," The New York Times, October 29, 2013.

 "Cars Designed by Women," Wheels for Women (December 12, 2013).


How to cite this product: Catalyst. Catalyst Quick Take: Women in the Automotive Industry. New York: Catalyst, 2016.