WinA Member of the Month
Know of someone you would like to see featured as our next Women in Automotive Member of the Month, or interested in sharing your own automotive story? Get in touch below and let us know.
Tell us a bit about your current role or involvement in the automotive industry.
I have over 15 years of extensive automotive experience and my current role is General Sales Manager at Mantello Hyundai. In this role I am responsible for the day-to-day running of the dealership, achieving our targets and focusing on having a winning culture.
What was your first professional experience within the automotive industry?
My first professional experience in the industry is when I started out as a Finance & Insurance Manager in 2008. I then moved into the dealership world and have worked my way up to a Group Business Manager.
Do you think you have experienced challenges within the industry that your male counterparts have not?
Yes, absolutely. My role can be very challenging as I am often the only female in a senior level role. Earlier in my career there were similar situations where I was the only female staff member at all. As a woman, you definitely have to work harder to get a seat at the table and be heard.
What is your biggest achievement within the automotive industry, personal or professional?
My biggest professional achievement as a General Sales Manager is being an instrumental part of the Mantello Hyundai team – I achieve results consistently without being the typical car saleswoman.
I started with bare bones and have had to prove myself. I learnt the road to a sale quickly and used my transferable skills from being a Group Finance Manager to apply in a sales capacity. During my time as General Sales Manager I have built a strong team and in 24 months we have never missed the factory target.
I presented fresh marketing ideas and engaged key stakeholders to keep breaking records and meeting KPIs. I was also the youngest Female Group Business Manager in Victoria in 2017. I’ve learnt that if you want to achieve something, discipline and drive is key.
Do you have a favourite resource as a woman working in the automotive industry? Maybe a book, event, organization, mentor, or online platform?
In recent years it’s been Women in Automotive functions! And LinkedIn, of course.
Mark Fernendez, Head of Sales at Allied Credit, also took me under his wing 15 years ago and still continues to mentor me professionally. I largely owe my career and success to him. There aren’t many mentors left in the industry unfortunately, so I consider myself extremely lucky to have built a network and relationships that I can leverage when needed.
Who is your inspiration as a female in automotive?
I have two: Kate Gillis from Peugeot and Dr Imogen Reid from VACC.
What is the best piece of advice that you have received or that you could give to another woman working in the automotive industry?
The best pieces of advice I've received are persistence beats resistance, perception is reality and focus on your input and the output will take care of itself.
The best piece of advice I've given is that we, as women, present a unique selling style that over time has proven to be accepted and well received by our colleagues, customers, and external stakeholders. We display trust, respect, empathy, attention, friendliness and care almost instantly. We need to capitalise on that and show that we are making a difference. My goal is to continue to break the mold of what traditional dealerships are about and keep on winning.