Hi Penny! This is such a great question and one that lots of teams struggle with. They want automation but have underestimated the time and effort that must be dedicated towards it.
I talk about this at length in my course, Setting a Foundation for Successful Test Automation, which I’m sure you’ve already taken. A notable quote from the course:
Make no mistake, test automation is a software development project in and of itself. It takes a considerable amount of time and skill to do it. If you treat it as a side task that people only contribute to whenever they have time, it will fail.
I recommend that leadership take this course. If they are too busy to do so ( ), might I suggest that you put together a short presentation and map some of the points to issues you see in-house. Let them know you’ve done the research and here are the findings…unfortunately, sometimes leadership listens to outside voices more than their own people.