Essence Magazine - Autoworld Timaru

Celebrating Women in Business

Essence Magazine recently caught up with Autoworld Timaru’s Administrator, Sarah Nicholas, and Aftersales Manager, Kate Le Lievre, to talk about the gender shift in the automotive industry.

This article was originally published in Essence Magazine, April 2022.

If you take a look under the hood of Autoworld Timaru, you will quickly see that the motoring industry is no longer a male-dominated world.

The Sefton Street car dealership employs a number of women in a range of roles throughout the company’s different departments, including Kate Le Lievre which saw her passion for vehicles lead her career path. The 28-year-old has been working at Autoworld Timaru for more than five years, and has worked her way up the ranks, taking on the role of Aftersales Manager six months ago.

“Since I have been here, we have had a stronger female presence in our Parts and Service teams. It’s been good to appoint women into these roles and watch them grow in what used to be a male-dominated industry. [For myself] it’s been great to have the opportunity to advance further through the roles that have arisen within the dealership, which in turn has really enabled me to learn and grow within the industry.”

“The passion of the women working at the dealership adds immeasurable value to our business.”
– Johan Smit, Dealer Principal

Autoworld Timaru Administrator, Sarah Nicholas agreed that the number of women working in the motoring industry was increasing.

“Our frontline staff in the Parts and Service Departments are all female, we’ve had female groomers and we have had female high school students come into the workshop for work experience which is really cool.”

Sarah also said that working at the dealership provided many opportunities to learn new skills.

“A lot of the brands offer training, and our Operations Manager, [Jennifer Logan], is our go-to person. She’s always willing to offer training.”

Autoworld Timaru Dealer Principal, Johan Smit, said that the passion of the women working at the dealership added immeasurable value to the business.

“We have a vibrant and energetic team who go out of their way to make our customers feel welcome. They are passionate about what they do, they love their jobs, and the love the industry.”

Read the full magazine here.

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