Women flat-out decide, or in some way influence, most of the car and truck purchases in the United States - more than 80 percent, according to some estimates.

But talk to women candidly about their auto-buying experiences, and you'll find that many aren't thrilled with what happens in showrooms.

Women still report being asked, "When are you going to bring your husband in? When are you going to bring your dad in?" and similar disrespectful questions, said Fara Warner, author of the 2005 book "Power of the Purse."

So what's a male-dominated industry like the car business to do?

Enter AskPatty.com, started by a couple of entrepreneurs who thought they could make some money straightening out the problem.

AskPatty.com, a New York- based website, aims to help improve the communication between female customers and auto sellers.

The site educates women about all things automotive, with a staff of female automotive experts who write articles and answer questions on repair, maintenance and car buying.

AskPatty.com also provides a unique service: certifying dealerships as female-friendly after they've passed a course on how to communicate with women, which continues to pose a challenge to many salesmen.

Forty-nine percent of the nation's dealerships don't have even one female salesperson, according to a 2006 survey by the National Auto Dealers Association.

"I'm not a screaming feminist waving my finger at auto dealers," said Jody DeVere, president of AskPatty.com. "I'm a businessperson, and I saw an opportunity."

To be certified, members of a dealership's sales team must read a book on how to communicate with women, titled "How to Get Rich Selling Cars and Trucks to Women," and take a training course. Then they must pass a 134-question test, which takes about an hour to complete.

AskPatty.com gets about 20,000 visitors each month.

See original article here.