This industry has come a long way but let’s face it; it’s till a boys club. Look around you at these events and you’ll see. It’s a male dominated business.
To the credit of a few OEMs, women are increasingly becoming part of management and executive teams. But overall, it still looks like 1980.
Just because it looks like it’s the old days doesn’t mean it is. I’m talking about the groping effect. For some reason, generally when alcohol is involved, some industry professionals become animals.
I see or hear about an incident at nearly every show I go to. Someone’s butt or breast gets grabbed or pawed or someone badgers an uninterested party to come to their room, etc. It’s not just inappropriate; it’s despicable.
The women of this industry, few as they are, do not deserve to have their business relationship with you or a member of your team changed simply because someone drank too much.
Harassing people physically or through unwanted, unprovoked suggestive comments is unprofessional. It makes your entire company look bad when one of your team acts like this.
And believe me; people talk. And they see. Is this the kind of reputation you want for your organization?
No woman should have to put up with groping from an over served colleague or client. And they certainly shouldn’t have to smile and take it because your dealership does a lot of business with them.
Please talk to your team before you head out to events, especially to younger guys that haven’t experienced open bars outside of a fraternity house.
Talk to your older guys too. If you have someone that acts like this, consider leaving him or her behind so they don’t wind up in a position where they embarrass themselves or worse, you.
I saw a couple of instances this past week that made me feel like enough is enough, I want to say something.
This industry does so much good; the people in it are too generous, inspirational and amazing to not deal with this. It’s time for us to address this issue with our people and if need be, ourselves.