Scaling Car Washes

Words Top Tips for Growing Women Leaders in Your Car Wash Business over car wash background

Top Tips for Growing Women Leaders in Car Wash Businesses

As we discussed on Episode Eight of Scaling Car Washes with Brenda Johnstone, there are many ways that we in the car wash industry can support and grow the role of women leaders in our industry. Here are some action items you can start taking today to really hone in on this key part of the workforce!

Why This Matters

As JT and Brenda discuss in the episode, there have been many improvements addressing the imbalance of both percentages of men and women within the car wash industry and also of the imbalance of leadership positions of men and women in the field. However, there is still work to do, and there are many action items that can make a big difference in addressing this issue and increasing women leaders in the industry! 

"How do you grow your business? Well, you really look for a broader, more diverse workforce. And if you don’t have women in a leadership role, you’re really missing something. And I think just the overall dynamic of getting a different way of thinking has really been missing in our business. So again, I’m really encouraged. I’m really proud of what you’re doing. I’m a big advocate, and I just really hope for you to keep kicking down barriers!"

JT Thomson

Strategies for Including More Women Leaders

Brenda Johnstone and JT Thomson both shared some great thoughts about ways to include more women leaders within your car wash business and leadership.

Implement these three key strategies that will BOTH increase recruitment of women AND build better teams: 

1. Pitch car wash employment as the career opportunity it is: Help potential employees see that a job within the car wash industry is much more than just a job. It is a career opportunity with lots of potential for growth and advancement! 

2. Offer training opportunities for employees: By offering training to employees instead of expecting them to come in with the training necessary before starting, you’re offsetting the potential imbalance between young men and young women who might have different degrees of previous experience with cars and car washes. You’re also taking control of the training that employees receive, which not only strengthens the common ground shared among team members but also ensures that everyone has the background knowledge necessary to succeed! 

3. Recruit potential employees instead of waiting for them to come to you: One way to get more women involved in your business is to actively recruit employees! Brenda recommends taking advantage of career fairs and recruiting at colleges and at high schools to find young people who would be perfect for the car wash industry but who might not have considered that career path on their own!

"You know, there’s no reason why companies couldn’t hold their job fairs. And then those people that can’t afford to go to extra school... Well, now they can get courses and training in the car washing industry! There’s lots of courses out there that they can take. And that’s an incentive, right? 'Come and work for us. And we’ll pay for your education in the car washing industry, because there’s a lot of things to know!' There’s the business aspect, there’s the equipment, there’s the chemical, and then there’s the customer service. So those are really good careers to get into. It just happens to be in the car washing industry."

Brenda Johnstone

Types of Training to Include for Car Wash Employees

Providing training is such a great way to create a stronger, more diverse work force. This also helps strengthen the team dynamic among your employees. Even if the employees specialize in specific areas, it’s important for them to understand the basics of all key components of car washes. Some training ideas include: 

  • Chemicals Training – All employees should have an understanding of the basics of the chemicals used at the wash. This could be offered by one of your chemical experts from your staff, or you could bring in an outside expert for this!
  • Conflict Resolution Training – Employees who have training in conflict resolution are more likely to feel happier and more confident in their roles, and they will better know how to de-escalate tense situations that occur.
  • Sonny’s Car Wash College – Looking for training opportunities where you can send your employees? Check out this opportunity with Sonny’s Car Wash College!
  • International Car Wash Association Training – ICA also offers training opportunities through their LEAD (Leadership, Education, and Development) program. Learn more here

"I think training is the best way to invest in your people, which ultimately is investing in your business, right? We’re only as good as people that are actually on the site, running it and talking to the customers. So I think the more we can invest back into those people, I think that (1) they feel more valued, and they can be more loyal, but then (2) they’re also just going to be better at their job."

JT Thomson

Ways to Get Involved

There are so many ways to get involved in the effort to increase the role of women in car wash leadership! Here are a few places you can start:

  • Attend a Women in Car Wash Conference – You can still sign up for the conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL, that starts on January 17th, or you can start planning to attend the conference in Niagara Falls this summer!
  • Open up conversations within your car wash leadership! Think about which strategies you can implement and what action steps you can take right now to make a difference.
  • Educate yourself about why this matters and what can be done to help make changes happen! With focused effort, our industry will see a continued increase in having women leaders in the field. Make a plan to bring about positive change!

Listen to the Interview Below!

Want to hear more of this great conversation between JT and Brenda Johnstone? Listen right here, or find Scaling Car Washes on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen!