Why more women aren’t represented in the auto industry

Women reportedly influence more than 85% of all car sales, but when it comes to the industry itself, females only represent about a quarter of all employees -- a trend that’s driven largely by poor hours and a lack of role models, according to automotive analyst Lisa Copeland.

“It’s a lack of access to role models, and it’s lack of flexibility,” Copeland told FOX Business’ Dagen McDowell. “At the end of the day, these women are educated, they’re fantastic and they’re smart. They have a lot of options: I could sell a car, or I could get into the tech industry. Let’s see.”

Studies show that 90% of women who entered auto sales leaving within the first year, Copeland said, citing bad hours -- mostly evening, weekend and holiday work -- as a big factor. But Copeland, who began her career 25 years ago by selling cars, advised that women who are interested in an automotive career try out the industry, despite it being male dominated.

“A lot of them are afraid to even go in and try it out,” she said. “But it’s a fantastic industry that affords all kinds of opportunities.”

Despite not having a large presence in the automotive workforce, women -- who tend to value safety as most important -- continue to drive the designs of new vehicles.

At this year’s New York Auto Show, Copeland said, some of her top picks for women included the Volvo XC90, XC60 and XC40, as well as anything produced by Subaru, which she said has “always been second to none” when it comes to engineering both top-notch safety and design.

“I think we’re finally starting to get our voice when it comes to automotives,” she said. “Women, they really are starting to come into the fact that they understand their power. When you influence 85% of an industry of the purchases of what’s going on, the demographic needs to start happening.”