IT’s a case of ‘it runs in the family’ for a Honda dealership based in Hemel Hempstead.
23-year-old Alice Brayley has turned her back on a career in teaching to join her father’s Honda dealership business.
Having washed cars from the age of twelve and worked as a receptionist in the school holidays during her teens, Alice achieved a degree in sociology at York University. A career in education beckoned but Alice decided that she, like her father, had fuel in her veins, so she opted to join the motor trade.
Now employed full-time as a sales administrator with Brayley Honda, Alice has made it her mission to excel in her role without any special treatment as the daughter of the company’s owner, Paul Brayley.
‘I gained experience in many areas of the business over the years but applied for a vacant sales administrator role to get my foot on the ladder,’ said Brayley. ‘It’s a highly detailed job and I was quite literally thrown in at the deep end. I’ve had to prove that I’ve got what it takes in this business and it’s been a steep learning curve but I really enjoy the buzz and atmosphere of a busy dealership.’
Although a male-dominated profession, Alice has aspirations to move into a managerial role within the company and will be enrolling on Honda’s management development programme at the Honda Institute, based in Slough, to help her on her way.
A study into ‘occupational segregation’ carried out by the Equal Opportunities Commission found that women account for less than ten per cent of the retail motor industry workforce in the UK, which employs approximately 600,000 people. Conversely, the latest RAC Report on Motoring noted that eight out of ten company cars are chosen by a female driver.
Paul Brayley, managing director, Brayley Honda – of which 30 per cent of its 130 staff members are women -said: ‘Although I never expected Alice to want to join the car business as there aren’t that many graduates entering the industry, it was important that she was able to carve out her own career.
‘She’s proven to her colleagues and me that she has the skills and understanding when it comes to sales administration and broader accounting requirements. She may have a hankering to have her own name over the door one day but I’m not retiring any time soon!’