Meet the 2020 Women of BMW: Sarah Bliss

Here’s to the women who are empowering, inspiring, and leading others!

Name: Sarah Bliss

Division: Sales

Location: California

This Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating our Women of BMW! Each nominee exemplifies the pillars of movement and BMW and serves as an inspiration for the BMW family. Throughout the series, we will hear the stories and advice from women leaders who have broken stereotypes and shattered glass ceilings. We created the #WomenofBMW series to highlight the progress of women in their roles throughout the automotive industry while motivating change going forward.

Q: In a few words, describe your role at BMW? 

A: I am the Regional Office Manager for the Western Region, responsible for budgets, calendar management, and liaison between other departments.  I provide support to the Regional Vice President, Aftersales, Center Development, Sales, Marketing, and field teams.  

Q: You’ve been described as the backbone of the Western Region, what are some skills that have helped you manage your responsibilities? 

A: I’ve been in the Western Region for 20 years which has provided me a unique perspective of the evolution of the regional culture. I’ve witnessed the region become increasingly collaborative, supportive, and focused on the collective success of regional and company-wide goals.  Because there is a natural tendency to focus on one’s own responsibilities it can be easy to lose sight of the greater goals.  I have worked hard to be inclusive – bringing all of the Western Region employees informed on our respective initiatives and targets.  I believe this collaboration naturally leads to more respect, increased morale, and a sense of accomplishment not only for individual accomplishments but what we have accomplished as a team.  

Dependable.  The team needs to know that I will complete tasks, provide updates, and finish within deadlines.  

Flexible.  It’s a given that there will be shifting priorities and last-minute updates.  Ability to adapt quickly while remaining calm.

Q: Tell us an instance of how team work has been an integral component to your role at BMW? 

A: COVID-19 – Fostering communication with the team, implementing a wide variety of digital technologies to keep our office personnel, field team, dealer networks, vendors, and customers advised of the day-to-day and often hour-to-hour changes.  When faced with a unprecendented global crisis we have come together as team to keep one another informed, supported and motivated all while we are adjusting balancing the needs of our work, families and prioritizing safety.

Q: What advice would you give to women pursuing a career in your field? 

A: Over the years, I have benefitted from incredibly generous colleagues – sharing their time and expertise to help me.  I have made it my mission to pay it forward to the next generation. 

Identify those experiences in your professional career when you’ve felt elevated and supported.   Look for opportunities to incorporate those techniques in your daily routine.   

Mentoring new associates and continuing to develop relationships across the business – recognizing that you can provide guidance, share your knowledge of processes, and support colleagues to facilitate professional growth.  

Q: What inspires you in the workplace and why? 

Being a part of an organization that recognizes and rewards premium customer service whether it’s with colleagues, vendors, dealer partners, or customers.  In our everyday interactions with colleagues, vendors, dealer partners, and customers.  We all have choices in our everyday interactions and it’s easy to get caught up in your world and forget that we are all working towards the same goal.   I am inspired to cultivate this mindset in our region – fostering our personal and professional growth.   

Share this Article