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What Drives Her Luncheon and Panel 2019 – I was privileged to attend this year’s luncheon hosted by Women in Automotive and A Girls Guide to Cars this year with my daughter!
This is a sponsored post in partnership with A Girl’s Guide To Cars
Women in the Automotive Industry
This year the topics were centered on the shift in women’s role in the driving force in a change in the auto industry. We as women make up 85% of consumer marketing purchases but only 40% of women feel represented and identify with the women they see in advertising.
This discussion was part of the How We See Women Panel – #SeeHer Initiative. As a mom of two girls, it was empowering and inspiring. “If you can see her, you can be her” – what happens when you don’t see yourself represented? We need positive messages sent to women and girls through advertising!
Between the networking and the panels, you couldn’t walk away without a ton of knowledge and friends. I made a few that I am confident will be lasting and got to hang with some of my favorite, long-time Chicago friends too!
Panels included How Women are Driving Change in the Auto Industry (think ponytail friendly head-rests) moderated by Michell Krebs who is the Exec Analyst from Auto Trader.
The ever-awesome Jennifer Newman, editor in chief from Cars.com moderated a fantastic panel – Work, Life, and Creating Balance which I know she knows something about herself as a mom and working woman.
One of my favorite people Scotty Reiss from AGGTC moderated and it was fun to see all these amazing women that are making strides in the auto industry and pulling it out of the male-dominated mentally on stage together!
We finished out the day with a great wine and cheese dessert reception hosted by Hyundai which included raffle prizes!
I always look forward to the What Drives Her luncheon and this year didn’t disappoint! If you couldn’t make it this year, I highly recommend attending next year. You will be amazed at what you learn and how many awesome people you will meet! It’s high time that women have a voice in the automotive industry and you will be inspired to push the boundaries of change. Women like cars too!
More about the What Drives Her Luncheon and Panel
Chicago Auto Show organizers, in partnership with A Girls Guide to Cars and Women in Automotive, held the third annual What Drives Her Luncheon and networking event during the show’s Media Preview on Friday, Feb. 8 at McCormick Place. Influential women were invited to come together for a robust lineup of presentations and panel discussions surrounding the pertinent impact that females have on the automotive industry. This year’s theme focused on the major shifts taking place in the automotive industry, including the ways that women are shaping its evolution.
A Robust Panel of Female Speakers
“We’re thrilled to be hosting our third annual What Drives Her Luncheon today to celebrate women in the auto industry,” said Kelly Webb Roberts, board member of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, producer of the Chicago Auto Show. “The content shared through this event is extremely important, especially the discussions surrounding work/life balance because I think that’s hard for a lot of us out there.”
The 2019 What Drives Her event featured a robust lineup of female speakers who discussed the integral role women play within the auto industry as contributors, consumers and drivers of purchasing decisions.
“This year we brought two really important conversations to the stage,” said Scotty Reiss, founder of A Girls Guide to Cars. “Our mission is to inspire the women out there to see the opportunities ahead; not only for themselves, but for other women who want to find a role in the automotive industry.”
“Women buy or influence 85 percent of car purchases, spending roughly $450 billion a year, yet they only hold about 25 percent of jobs in automotive. This holds a lot of opportunity,” said Reiss.
Michelle Krebs, executive analyst for Autotrader added, “I think what’s interesting about my panel is it’s extremely diverse in terms of backgrounds. We have people from the retail part of the business, from the automaker part of the business, part supply, so everybody came to this industry in a different way.”
A common theme among the women on the panel is that they never aspired to go into the automotive industry, but once they were in it, they ended up enjoying the business. They all started their careers at a young age and then worked their way up through the ranks to become successful in the field.
“I never set out to be a trailblazer or anything like that; I just happened to be the only woman at my company so I did what I needed to do, which was my very best,” said Edie Wines, instructor, National Automobile Dealers Association. “As a result, it impacts other people and their performance levels.”
Additional key factors of success shared were diversity in the workplace, taking advantage of opportunities presented and being a leader. Wines talked about how women are more inclined to change with the new ways of business instead of going against it. This trait helps females to be successful in the workplace because they’re open-minded and are able to easily adapt.
Jennifer Newman, Cars.com editor-in-chief, kicked off the second portion of the panel discussion which was centered around creating balance while building a career. Newman asked the panelists how each of them attain balance while climbing the corporate ladder and trying to maintain a family and personal life.
Laurie King, SVP, global operations and strategic solutions, Turtle Wax, answered, “For me, as a leader, it’s the basis of recognizing that everybody you work with has a life outside of work, whether it’s their family at home, personal life, etcetera.”
“I personally believe that you have to allow people to be successful and happy in their personal life in order for them to be successful in their professional life. While it’s not always easy, the more we treat employees in this manner, the more we’re helping them to succeed.”
Kerri Wise, vice president, industry education and relations, TrueCar added, “There are a couple of things we need to think about. We need to check our guilt. In some ways, we want to be perfect at everything. Are we using our time efficiently? Are we working on projects that matter?”
Approximately 200 members of the media, industry and social media influencers attended the third annual What Drives Her Luncheon. Event sponsors included Autotrader, CDK Global, Facebook, Hyundai, LotLinx, TrueCar, Turtle Wax and Zed F.