Knowledge Center

Women in the Automotive Industry

United States

  • In 2013, 25.4% of jobs in the Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicles Equipment Manufacturing industry were held by women.1
  • In 2013, women made up:
    • 1.5% of automotive body and related repairers,2
    • 1.8% of automotive service technicians and mechanics.3



  • Volvo is one of a few motor companies that have had a women-majority team (80%) design a car (a concept car).4
  • Women are approximately 30% of the global design staff for BMW, and 20% of the design staff at GM.5

Women in Auto Management

  • In 2014, Mary Barra became CEO of General Motors in the United States and the first woman to run a major auto maker.6

Dealerships and Sales

  • According to CNW Marketing Research, women-owned dealerships were just 2.8% of all dealerships.7
  • Women made up nearly 21.4% of all employees at automobile dealers.8

Work-Life in the Automotive Industry

  • According to a 2010 survey done by Deloitte, 56% of respondents reported that their companies do not have active recruitment programs targeting women.9
  • In the same survey, 40% of women complained in regards to their companies’ cultures concerning family commitments. 28% said the industry is “less than accepting” of family commitments.10
  • Furthermore, 20% of the survey respondents stated that their company’s efforts in the retention of women were “below average” or “poor,” but 32% stated that these efforts were “above average.”11

Women’s Influence in the Industry

  • In 2010, CNW Marketing Research found at 47.3% of women car shoppers prefer women dealers, while 38.5% have no preference.12
  • Women made up 44.1% of primary vehicle buyers in 2010, compared to 19.5% in 1990.13



  • In 2010, one-fifth of the automotive industry in Europe was comprised of women.14
  • Women tend to occupy lower qualified and lesser paid jobs, but equality issues do not appear to be of concern nor are they well researched in the European automotive industry.15

How to cite this product: Catalyst. Catalyst Quick Take: Women in the Automotive Industry. New York: Catalyst, 2014.