Suite Spot the real satisfaction in my job was going to be seeing the rewards and the benefits achieved by our franchisees . And I ’ m thinking , ‘ Yeah but I need a raise .’ There ’ s no doubt we ’ re all motivated by our own financial success , but those words could not have been more true . I didn ’ t believe it because I had just started in franchising . I hadn ’ t been lucky enough to be in an industry where my dayto-day hard work , creative thinking , collaboration , and problem-solving were actually going to result in a sense of contribution to someone else ’ s visible success ,” she says .
“ I knew them the day they wrote the check , I knew them 5 years later when they won their first incentive trip , and I knew them 10 years later when they could afford to send their daughter to an Ivy League college because of their decision to enter franchising . That is so satisfying , and that is franchising .”
It ’ s a woman ’ s world after all ! When we spoke with Barbara Moran- Goodrich last month , she was getting ready to leave for the Women in Auto Care winter conference , where she serves on the board . She was excited at the prospect of spending time with more than 100 women executives involved in the automotive industry . After all , she ’ s had to overcome the stereotype that women don ’ t belong in this male-dominated field ( especially at the top ), most notably from her father .“ Dad was old school and thought I should be at home taking care of my family , but my passion drove me ,” she says . But that was a long time ago , and a story we told in our 2015 women ’ s issue .
“ I know many women in the automotive aftermarket , more so on the sales side . This is an opportunity to meet more women on the marketing and executive side ,” she says .“ I have not been as active on the automotive side as I ’ ve wanted and am looking to get more involved .”
Moran-Goodrich says she has seen the number of women in franchising grow a lot in the past 15 years . “ It was a handful , but more and more are coming in and I ’ m excited to see that . I ’ m also starting to see that in the automotive industry , and that ’ s exciting too ,” she says . “ The more stories out there about women going into fields that were never expected , the more it helps the next generation of women to come in and say ‘ That ’ s an opportunity , that ’ s an option for me .’”
In the small world of franchising of earlier years , her father knew Don Dwyer , Sr ., founder of The Dwyer Group . She didn ’ t know his daughter , Dina , but in the late 1990s heard her talk about her family dynamics and business and immediately set out to meet her . The parallels were strong : they both were in a man ’ s environment in the trades , with Dwyer-Owens taking over because her father passed away , and her own father with heart problems having to step back from leading the company .
Moran-Goodrich says she was impressed by Dwyer-Owens ’ willingness to hear from other women and guide them and help raise them up . “ I always believe you have to be there to help the next generation of women , and I ’ m happy to be a part of that . I love to mentor and be mentored ,” she says . “ I ’ m really excited to see where we go in the next 25 years with women in executive positions .”
Making it on merit Christine Specht also is a daughter of a founder who didn ’ t particularly see her as the next leader of his company , Cousins Subs , which he founded with his cousin in 1972 . But there ’ s something to be said
about growing up in the business .
“ When I was named president in 2008 , I replaced a gentleman from the outside who was taking the company in a direction my dad wasn ’ t comfortable with . At the same time , if I ’ d been named president 4 years earlier ( that ’ s how long he was there ), I don ’ t know that I would have been ready . I think the timing was better for me when I did ultimately get that opportunity in 2008 . Maybe it was not the time for me in 2004 . It ’ s almost like the company had to go through certain changes for me to be ready — and me being mature enough and skilled enough to handle that position .”
Specht says she tries not to evaluate herself based on her gender . If she ’ s interested in or wants to do something , she says , “ I ’ m going to do it , regardless of whether I think I ’ m breaking a glass ceiling , or that it ’ s not traditional for some women or some men . I ’ m not going to let that ‘ woman factor ’ influence my decision one way or another .”
Working in her family business , she says the one person who needed to have confidence in her was her father , and he did . “ And because I was able to demonstrate an ability to fill a need that the company had at the time , he made me the president .”
For women who want to gain traction in the franchising world , whether looking to work for a franchisor or have their own business , Specht says one of the best things they can do is attend conferences and trade shows and get themselves known in ways that don ’ t have a tremendous cost . “ When you ’ re just starting out , try to get out there and network , and attending conferences is one of the best ways to do that . You start to build a name for yourself . It ’ s a lot of work , a lot of travel , but at the same time you make those connections and will continue to get noticed .”
Even in 2017 , this can be harder for a woman than for a man because of embedded cultural biases . But for women , younger ones especially , this is less of a problem with each passing generation . “ If a woman wants to be out there , she has to put herself out there . Nobody ’ s