The Thames Valley Venus Awards started off as an enigma for me. An event celebrating the engagement and endeavours of women in business, approaching me, a man, to get involved and sponsor. More than this though as I represent a company which operates in an industry with the reputation for being dominated by ‘Alpha Males’, and the actions of one company isn’t really going to change or address that.
Instead of being entrenched in the past however, I decided to think about the future. I tried to think of how relevant these awards are, to our customers and also our staff, and how relevant they will be moving forwards. As light bulb moments go, this was a biggee!
Firstly our customers, around 40% of New Car buyers are women. Fact. However around 75% of New Car buying decisions are heavily influenced by women, a hugely significant number. More and more women are driving company cars and our showrooms and service receptions vouch for this every day. Being able to discuss our future strategy with local women in business is essential to what we do next. The car industry is becoming less about performance and more about tech and connectivity. I think a business not adapting to 75% of its potential is probably missing a trick, we need to connect.
Secondly I thought of our staff. We have a good few women, but definitely not enough. We have really terrific people, in a number of management positions, but not enough. We can do more. I feel that getting involved in the Venus Awards shows our intent to our current, and potential, employees. We are talking the talk, the next stage will be walking the walk. We are going through a lot of change as a business, and attracting more women into our business is a key enabler of that.
Marshall Volkswagen are hugely proud to sponsor the first Thames Valley Venus Awards. We are incredibly impressed with the energy and vitality of the Venus team and are really looking forward to working with them. Success will be engaging inwards and outwards and hopefully turning that light bulb on.
Volkswagen Franchise Director