Looking back on the 7th Women in Carwash conference with Brenda Jane Johnstone
Organizer Brenda Jane Johnstone is proudly looking back on the 7 th Women in Carwash conference in Florida. We asked her some questions via email about the current state of affairs.
About 60 attendees, mostly females but also a couple of men, were present at Fort Lauderdale in Florida during the conference, mid-January. It included speeches, workshops and breakout sessions with sparkling titles such as Body Language for Leaders, The Importance of Female Mentorship, Predictive Intelligence, Writing for Business and Personal, Managing Conflict.
“I was most interested in the Managing Conflict workshop”, Brenda looks back on those busy days. “Due to the current state of the world these days, we’re all dealing with our stresses and, ultimately, the stresses of others.”
20 percent of people working in the car wash industry nowadays are female. How did this growth happen? Were there any specific measurements taken?
“No specific metrics were discussing the number of women working within the carwashing industries but based on conversations during the networking breaks, there are more women than ever entering the industry and seeing this industry as their career of choice.
What changed in the last two, three years?
“Over the past two, three, and five years, especially during covid, many companies down-sized or closed their doors, leaving many seeking a new career choice. That choice may have been the car washing industry. This industry didn’t see the drastic downturn that many businesses did.”
Last summer, the European Parliament decided to come up with a female quorum. The law obliges listed companies in all 27 EU member countries to have women take up at least 40% of non-executive board seats, or 33% of executive and non-executive roles combined by mid-2026. Is anything like this in the making in the US?
“I think, too, that the more women working within the industry will beget more women working in the industry, and these women are no longer ‘just the greeter’. These are smart women, taking control of their careers. They are educated and motivated to do better, teach more and make their mark on a historically male-dominated industry. Here is a link to a website that discusses the regulations to hire more women and minorities. I haven’t studied it, but I know Canada and the US are working toward these same numbers as you quoted.”
I can imagine that female customers find it more pleasant to be helped by a female employee than a male one. What are your experiences in that aspect?
“What I can tell you is this. We had a number of women attending the Women in Carwash™ conference and can tell you that these are smart women. They are smart, focused,enthusiastic, and they are professional. One of the workshops was the Importance of FemaleMentorship, another was Membership Sales, and another was Managing Conflict. Each of these workshops was very well attended, and the learning and sharing were amazing. I believe that women at the front end of your carwash who are dressed professionally, who know their customers, and who are passionate about what they do, can only benefit the wash and can’t help but increase sales.”