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Sexist Car Salesman Dismisses CNBC Anchor, Asks Where Her Husband Is

Sexist Car Salesman Dismisses CNBC Anchor, Asks Where Her Husband Is

Here at Care2 we often tackle sexism in the issues we cover, but today’s dose of sexism has an ironic twist.

Enter Becky Quick, co-anchor of CNBC’s signature morning show Squawk Box.

At 7 months pregnant with her third child, Quick decided she needed a new car for her growing family. After doing some research she narrowed down her choices and headed to a local car dealership to test-drive her choices.

Turns out that purchasing her new car would be more difficult than she imagined. At 5 different dealerships, Quick faced the same obstacle over and over again – that obstacle being that she was a woman.

It didn’t matter that the car was going to be primary hers or that she had done all the research, at each dealership she visited the salesman always asked to speak to her husband when she asked to be shown a car. At one dealership the salesman actually introduced himself to the man standing behind her assuming he was her husband which he was not. 

Did the car salesman introduce himself to Quick or ask her name? No.

When Quick asked questions about the car, the salesman directed all his answers to Quick’s husband, that is, until her husband asked him not to. Adding insult to injury, when the salesman took down her contact information he asked specifically for her home number saying, “Obviously you don’t have a work phone.” I guess someone doesn’t watch the Squawk Show every morning on CNBC.

Dismissing a woman at a car dealership like this isn’t just sexist, it’s bad business. According to CNW Research, women were the primary buyers of more than 44% of all vehicles last year and they influenced almost 80% of all auto sales.

Let this be a lesson to all the car salesmen out there. Sexism is bad business (and so not cool!).

Related from Care2:

Sexism in the Toy Store Aisles 

Entire School Band Suspended for Sexism  

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Photo Credit: Hugo90

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195 comments

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6:44AM PDT on Apr 9, 2012

You know, I think I'm experiencing this with the door and window company from whom I'm trying to purchase $7,000 worth of doors! It's like pulling teeth just to get someone to call me back!

I will not do business with this company again, that's for sure!

5:32AM PDT on Mar 12, 2012

it is a terrible thing to have to buy a car-----for women and men, too.

4:42PM PST on Mar 8, 2012

Hope sales people with this attitude will be out of business very soon!

2:41PM PST on Mar 5, 2012

The more I've been thinking about this since I posted a few days back ... this salesman is a perfect example for the universal need for "concealed carry" of handguns :)

(Please take this post with the sarcasm intended ... )

1:29AM PST on Mar 5, 2012

Strange are the ways of some salesmen.

As long as the customer wants to buy a certain, it is none of their business to put awkward questions, for, they get the money from the customer for what they sell. Do they want to confirm from the husband that the car is indeed needed at home? Yet again, as long as the woman pays for it, what's their problem? Anyway, they only lose their business.

7:19PM PST on Mar 4, 2012

I have a male friend that has learned to always go to car dealerships dressed professionally. i.e suit, well-groomed. He is a very upper level professional in the high tech industry. But he is of (very well-to-do) Afro-Caribbean heritage. He actually grew up & was educated in N America so accent completely N American. Salespeople take one look at his skin colour & figure he can't afford their wares & is a waste of their time. Meanwhile he is on his 2nd BMW. And no, drug money was not involved.

7:11PM PST on Mar 4, 2012

It's important to start off your conversation with good ol' boys using the most high-tech lingo you know.

4:44PM PST on Mar 4, 2012

Believe it or not, as a man I got the same routine from salesmen when going to buy a new washing machine and dryer. They would tell me to come back with my wife. I was a single father with two sons. They lost my business, but I completely sympathized with the ladies who had to put up with the same crap from car dealers.

3:04PM PST on Mar 3, 2012

I agree with Kathryn T. I have bought several cars during my lifetime, and yes...I have had to dress down some salemen. They deal with me or no sale. It's that simple. It's a car for me, NOT my husband, and it was my hard earned dollars that was going to pay for it.

But there is another way of looking at this....maybe women are not as likely to be sold their sales pitches, like letting you sit while they run back and forth to talk to their supervisor, letting you stew thinking your going to be turned down if you don't accept this costly package they are trying attach to the care sale. Maybe men are more vulnerable and quick to accept and spend more money that is not necessary......something to think about.

9:28AM PST on Mar 3, 2012

I have had the same experience at a car dealership. When I told the salesman that I was looking for a new car, he asked me what color of car I had in mind. I went to a different dealership. I've also, had the same experience in car parts stores. When I was fixing up an old car and needed parts, the guy behind the counter kept asking me questions about what "he" needed although I was obviously by myself, like "does he want a new or rebuilt one" and "does he need a new gasket for that?" until I finally asked who the hell "he" was. His answer was "the guy who's working on the car for you". I walked out.

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