They say the future is female. I beg to differ.
The future is equal respect when a person is judged not by gender but by capabilities. The danger of these claims is that they can mitigate the achievements of another gender to achieve diversity. The first step, however, is to open the usual male-dominated industry to females. One of the companies in the forefront is General Motors (GM), the Chevrolet parent company, which has gained recognition for its commitment to gender equality and diverse representation. Named as the number 1 company in the US that promotes gender equality.
In celebration of Women’s Month, we will be featuring different women leaders in the industry. First up are these two ladies who chose to be dealers of Chevrolet in the Philippines.
Carisa A. Laus
Vice President and
Laus Group Holdings, Inc.,
Taking on her father’s legacy, the late Levy P. Laus, Carisa presides over four Chevrolet dealerships in different regions.
With almost two decades of leading their Chevrolet dealer operations, Carisa has opened doors for women equally passionate and trustworthy to head different service departments in their dealerships.
She believes that female leaders share the same role as their male counterparts in the auto retail industry. “We bring our team to where we need them to be, but I think it is a given that women leaders are the ones who consciously ensure that there is gender balance in the workplace.”
Carissa’s unique leadership style is founded on respect, “I found that it pays off when you treat each employee uniquely—recognize their individual traits and strengths and bank on them. The same holds in running our business operations. In as much as we want to standardize our processes, we have to operate differently in each dealership.”
Carisa also believes that character, integrity, and credibility molded her to become an effective leader. “These are the principles that I learned from my father [which] help me to lead others,” she shares.
Carisa adds: “The automotive industry is changing. Women play a great role in creating more opportunities for (other) women in a once male-dominated business sector.”
Jessica J. Lee
Business Initiatives, Inc.
Along the packed automotive row in Metro Manila’s main thoroughfare sits Chevrolet Greenhills-EDSA, currently led by Jessica, who is is no stranger to the auto retail industry. “It was a family business that I choose to continue,” she said.
Facing the most challenging times in her four-year stint as president because of the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, Jessica steers Chevrolet Greenhills-EDSA in this new difficult environment. “Despite the current situation that we are in, we can adapt really fast.”
She teamed up with sterilizing technology manufacturer Medklinn Philippines to provide added safety and protection. She also oversaw the accelerated adoption of Chevrolet Greenhills-EDSA to digital marketing and sales, offering easy online payment options for new Chevy car buyers.
Jessica believes that implementing customer-oriented practices and employing innovative ideas will help mold the company’s future. “As a leader, I always aim for excellence—in doing what is best. This has to be coupled with creating an environment of ownership and responsibility; earn the trust of your colleagues and treat each other respectfully.”
Jessica currently leads a team of 75 employees. “(We) employ more women in sales and more men in service departments. Sales is no longer a boys’ club. Women have an advantage when it comes to sales as they tend to be more empathetic than men.
Although Chevrolet Greenhills-EDSA celebrates a diverse and inclusive workforce, Jessica still sees some challenges for women in the automotive industry. “I think it’s because women tend to be insecure and have self-doubt brought by the stereotype of the general population that males have more knowledge about cars than females.”
Asked how to put the brake on this stereotype, Jessica says: “We need to add more female representation in this industry.” Jessica knows that regardless of the nature of the job, women also have what it takes to drive the country’s automotive retail industry.
Happy Women’s Month! For more #yourbestlifeinbulletpoints, watch Chicchats every Thursday at 530pm on our social media channels. Like us on Facebook/Chicdriven, follow @chicdriven on Instagram, and subscribe to Chicdriven TV on YouTube.
Jeanette Ipapo-Tuason’s “why” is to help people become better versions of themselves. Married to multi-awarded race car driver JP Tuason and mother of five children, she is a confessed learning junkie (know it all), avid reader, sometimes life coach (gives unsolicited
advice), triathlete (when not allergic to working out), and cook.