A look at ways to help women realize their collision career aspirations.
In this traditionally male-dominated industry, women used to be scarce in collision repair and, in senior leadership positions, almost non-existent. This is changing, however, albeit very slowly. It’s time to accelerate our acceptance of women in leadership roles.
There is an interesting difference between men and women when they evaluate whether they are qualified to apply for a position. Men will often apply if they have three out of ten qualifications listed. Most women won’t apply unless they have all ten. This is an important fact for employers to keep in mind when creating job ads. And women—stop hesitating— apply to every job you are interested in!
Visible female leaders are role models for the next generation, showing them that they, too, can create a fulfilling and meaningful career. I
feel that this is a responsibility and an opportunity to make a difference. I regularly connect with men and women new to the collision repair industry and offer to be a resource and share information, advice, ideas and insight.
Employers should encourage females in senior positions to mentor new recruits and provide guidance and support.
Building your personal brand
I believe that a strong personal brand reflects who you are—your goals, career aspirations and passion are all important keys to success.
And it definitely results in the right opportunities finding you! So, how do you build a strong personal brand?
• Authenticity: You don’t have to be perfect—you just need to be yourself! You have your own unique ideas, thoughts and ambitions.
Be bold and show your uniqueness to the world.
• Build your Network: Invest the time and effort in meeting new people. Attend industry events, invite someone new to lunch, and connect with others on LinkedIn. When you do meet new people, take the time to actively listen and learn about their business and their challenges.
• Give first, be a connector: Be generous with your time. Give ideas, offer solutions, or connect people with someone in your network who can help them. This creates lasting relationships.
One day when you are facing a challenge, you will have a network to turn to for help.
• Visibility, Impact & Influence: Look for ways to be visible. Volunteer to make presentations, join committees or working groups, write
articles or a blog, or share interesting posts on LinkedIn. It takes planning and effort, but over time you will find ways to reach a larger audience and contribute to projects or initiatives that are meaningful to you.
• Create your own future: Visualize your ideal future, take the actions and make the tough decisions needed to make it happen.
Change is difficult but necessary to reach your goals and ensure that your career is meaningful and satisfying.
• Have fun: Building your career is serious business, but also find time for fun. Life’s more enjoyable when you have a good time on the journey to success. Those around you will appreciate it, too.
• Never give up: With consistent effort, focus and persistence, you will create your strong personal brand and have the career you want.
I hope this article encourages employers to recruit women for leadership roles, as well as offer guidance for women to step up and achieve the career they deserve.