New Scholarship for Women Pursuing Retail Automotive Careers

The General Motors Women's Retail Network is launching a scholarship program to encourage women to consider a career in automotive retail.

The GM Women's Retail Network Dealer Development Scholarship is intended for women who are enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and non-traditional educational institutions that offer degrees in the automotive retail field. Several scholarships worth up to $5,000 each will be available beginning in 2011.

"GM was the first automaker in the industry to establish a program to actively recruit women into the automotive retail field as part of our efforts to increase the number of women dealers in our network," said Marina Shoemaker, director, GM Women's Retail Network.

In conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the network, the women's Dealer Advisory Council agreed the time was right to offer a scholarship program that might help influence more women to consider a career as a general/executive manager or owner/operator of a GM dealership, Shoemaker said.

Applications will be accepted beginning in January 2011 and scholarship awards will be announced in May. Applicants will be evaluated on the strength of their academic performance, community service and volunteerism, work experience, and a personal statement. Additional selection criteria include:

* Acceptance and full-time enrollment in an accredited/recognized automotive program of institution (automotive retail and/or service management)

* U.S. citizenship or the ability to accept permanent employment in the United States without the need for current or future visa sponsorship

* Letter of recommendation from a GM dealer

"It's a well-known fact that women influence the majority of automotive purchasing decisions, which is creating more career opportunities for women in automotive retailing," said Karen Miskimins of Hardin Chevrolet in Hardin, Mont., and a member of the GM Women's Dealer Advisory Council. "We're excited about being able to help women further their education in this area so they're prepared to walk through the doors that are being opened to them."

More information about the GM Women's Retail Network Dealer Development Scholarship is available at wrnscholarshipinfo@gmsac.com. Those wishing to make donations to the scholarship program should contact the CMS Foundation at 888-377-5233.