Operations

How Women Of The Industry Can Spur A Renaissance

Lexi Tucker
Posted on May 9, 2019

(L to R) Lexi Tucker and Meryl Kelso discussed ways to make the luncheon even better next year.

(L to R) Lexi Tucker and Meryl Kelso discussed ways to make the luncheon even better next year.

Women account for 50% of the working age population, according to a recent article from METRO Magazine on a study conducted by MTI research associates Jodi Godfrey and Dr. Robert Bertini. Of this 50%, however, females accounted for less than 15% of the total transportation workforce in 2017.

This doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise to me; the luxury transportation industry is clearly male-dominated. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but I do hope to see the numbers level out in the near future. Don’t worry — my column this month isn’t a “millennial feminist” tirade. Instead, I want to focus on what the women who are already here can do to make it more welcoming for those who may be intimidated and think it’s not the right place for them.

Be Who You Want Others To Emulate

One of the main points Godfrey and Bertini state in their study, “Attracting and Retaining Women in the Transportation Industry,” is the importance of female role models and mentors. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this industry actually has

(L to R) Nancy Vargas trades business cards with Kiara Scott.

(L to R) Nancy Vargas trades business cards with Kiara Scott.

many: Kristina Bouweiri, Nancy Vargas, Wendy Kleefisch, Christina Zanone, Tammy Carlisle, and these are by no means the only ones I can name. Even if you don’t feel you have pull, trust me — you do. It’s easy to be inspiring in the 21st century.

If you’ve got social media profiles, write about how you handled a difficult situation and ask for feedback on what you could have done better. Volunteer and/or nominate yourself for leadership positions in your local and national associations. Join the LCT’s Women of the Industry Facebook group (shameless plug) and actively post and comment. Let people know you are there for them at any time to give advice, or even just be a shoulder to cry on. Also, listen just as much as you talk. If you disagree with someone, don’t be a jerk about it. Your way might not always be the best way, and you may even learn something new.

There’s Such A Thing As A Limo Industry?

Naomi Glaser (center) talks business with a couple of ladies at the luncheon.

Naomi Glaser (center) talks business with a couple of ladies at the luncheon.

To reach those outside of the luxury transportation industry, start with who you know. Again, social media plays a large part in this. Diversify the perception of the industry by taking photos of your company’s vehicles, office parties, and coworkers (all with permission, of course), and post them with fun captions. Showcase the diversity of your staff in every possible way. I can promise you young professionals have no idea this industry exists, let alone what it can help people accomplish professionally.

Tell your story offline at job fairs, volunteer to speak at tradeshows both inside and outside the industry, and attend meetings for hotel, event, and wedding professionals. Don’t give a boring spiel about your daily routine. Make it funny, relatable, and concise.

Kindness Doesn’t Cost A Thing

Last, but perhaps most importantly, be inviting. I like when I see women building

(L to R) One way you can support the women of the industry is by sponsoring female-centric events like this year’s women’s luncheon at the LCT Show. Sponsors Christina Zanone, Tammy Carlisle, Sara Eastwood-Richardson, and Kristen Carol all pitched in to make it a great event.

(L to R) One way you can support the women of the industry is by sponsoring female-centric events like this year’s women’s luncheon at the LCT Show. Sponsors Christina Zanone, Tammy Carlisle, Sara Eastwood-Richardson, and Kristen Carol all pitched in to make it a great event.

each other up instead of tearing each other down over stupid inside baseball (inside limo?) drama. I know it’s hard to sit with people you don’t already know and have relationships with, but let’s admit it — it comes off cliquish. There are women who want and need to be welcomed with open arms. Teach them well so they don’t make the same mistakes you have when no one would give you the time of day. I’ve met so many lovely, helpful people in this industry, and I want newcomers to see what I see. We can’t afford to turn them away. 

Lexi Tucker is LCT’s senior editor and coordinator of the LCT Fast 40, a group of operators under 40 who collaborate and learn from each other about all aspects of chauffeured transportation. She can be reached at [email protected]

Related Topics: employee recruitment, LCTFast40, Lexi Tucker, Millennials, networking, women in the industry

Lexi Tucker Senior Editor
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