Every Thursday for the next few months, we will feature a new female leader from around the globe, highlighting their career achievements, biggest influences, and the advice they would give to other young women considering a career in the automotive industry.
Meet This Week’s Leader: Mariah Baqeezada, Sales Manager and Finance Director, Porsche Stevens Creek
“Don’t give up and don’t let anyone tell you, ‘You can’t do it.’”
First Automotive Job: Administrative
PAG Tenure: Just under 1 year
What attracted you to the automotive industry? I was with my father while he was looking to purchase a vehicle. I enjoyed helping him negotiate with the salesperson and something clicked. I wanted to learn the art of compromise. I have appreciated fixing things and putting puzzle pieces together without realizing how much I loved it.
Most satisfying part of your job: When the team comes together and achieves the same goal. Their hard work reflects in the customer’s experience, and nothing makes me prouder or more satisfied.
Proudest professional achievement: Leading the sales team and winning awards for several years back-to-back for outstanding performance.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career? Ralph Day, Robert Day, and Mark Day for believing in me and letting me earn the opportunity to grow my sales experience as a young female on the sales team with a highline brand like BMW.
Looking back on the last decade, how have you seen the automotive industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women? When I first started in the automotive industry, women were in more traditional roles at that time – cashiers, file clerks, performing admin duties. In the last few decades, the roles have become more diverse than in years prior. Women have persevered and changed the traditional history bylaws and are now recognized as leaders. Changing paths not only for themselves but for future generations of women to grow in their careers. Today, you see women as dealer principals, general managers, service managers, sales managers, part directors, retail operations managers, service advisors, sales associates, service technicians – in every department you can think of.
What hobbies do you enjoy? Watching movies, running, cycling, hiking, watching football, playing volleyball, playing board games, building things, listening to music, working out, and playing with my kids.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? Hopefully with plenty more work and as a mentor to the general sales managers.
What advice would you give to a young woman considering a career in the auto industry? Be strong, believe in yourself, and trust your own efforts.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? Don’t give up and don’t let anyone tell you, ‘You can’t do it.’ (I can’t tell you how much I’ve heard that).
Any other comments you would like to add? I was born in Afghanistan and migrated to the states with my family when I was a little girl. We had nothing when we first came to this country, and I know how much hard work can pay off. So, keep moving forward, keep looking for change, keep your head up and get it in your mindset to never give up.