What Drives Her Luncheon at the Chicago Auto Show

 

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Now more than ever the opinions of women are being considered when it comes to automobile industry.  Not only are our opinions considered more, we also have several seats at the table behind the scenes in the automotive industry.  That is why I am thankful for the companies that inform, educate and keep us up to date on how women are making a major impact on the automotive industry.
IMG-2807Every February thousand of people converge, commute and or convene in Chicago for the Chicago Auto Show.  The show has been going on for over 100 years (111 to be exact) and is the largest auto show in North America.  If you have never been to the Chicago Auto Show, it is a one of a kind experience, from the vintage and concept cars to the race cars and new model releases.  There are just as many women in attendance as men, so for those of your who believe that Auto Shows are just for men, you are sadly mistaken.  Consider the statistics, there are over 100 million women drivers in the United States, which outnumbers male drives.  So our opinions matter.

IMG-2831At the Chicago Auto Show this year I had the privilege of being invited to the What Drives Her luncheon and Panel hosted by Women in Automotive and A Girls Guide to Cars.  There were several panels presented during the luncheon which left me feeling more educated, more empowered and more energized about the automotive industry.

The first panel discussion was about How Women are Driving Change in the Auto Industry.  This panel included a manager of customer analytics, a VP of global quality, VP of engineering  and a representative from the Automobile Dealers Association.  The second panel was on the topic Work, Life and Creating Balance while Building a Career.  This panel included a global director of sales and business development, a global operations and strategic solutions VP, a senior director of dealer strategy, a Facebook client solutions manager and a VP of industry education and relations.

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Without including names of the panelist (though they are important) what is most important to note are the titles and the fact that these representatives were all women.  While previously a male dominated industry, it is safe to say that the tides are changing and women are occupying their seats at the table with the confidence, courage and charisma required to break the glass ceilings, penetrate the ‘boys networks’ and drive change in the automotive industry while creating work/life balance and managing families as well.

As a woman this was a proud moment for me to witness the power, the dedication and the fervor these women demonstrated.  And while I am happy that they are rightfully working in the behind the scenes areas of the automotive industry, I hope to see more women of color represented at the table as well.  The reality is that they may be there, they were just not present at this year.  I was so inspired I sent a test to my dearest friend, who has a background in engineering, to tell her about what they were doing and that maybe she should consider a career change.

Hearing these women speak about how not only their education and training helped them to reach these areas in their careers, it was great to hear them speak about being promoted because the decision makers trusted that they could do the job.  As women I am sure we all know and understand our strengths and our capabilities, we are just waiting for the world to catch up.

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The highlight of the luncheon for me was the #SEEHER campaign with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).  The #SEEHER campaign helps advertisers and marketers understand the power and influence of women. The campaign slogan “If You Can See Her, You Can Be Her”, is a powerful testament to the value of importance of industry not only in media but on television shows and in movies.  This is also true in the automotive industry where those who work as VP’s and senior executives are not always see.  During their presentation the concerns about women and their feels when it comes to auto brands were discussed (see slide).

#SEEHER has worked with many companies to make sure that there was/is an accurate portrayal of women in the media an among influencers.  As a woman of color, this is often true for us on two fronts: female representation and African American representation.  So knowing that initiative such as #SEEHER exists is promising when it comes to accurate representation in advertising.

I am again thankful for the vision and foresight of companies like A  Girls Guide to Care and Women in Automotive for organizing panels like this one and for showing other what Beyoncé told us a few years ago, “Who Run the World”? Girls!

See you at the table next year….

Be Blessed, Be Fabulous!

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Dream In Black with AT&T

For me Black History does not take place only during the month of February.  As an African American, I celebrate my history and my culture everyday.  It is often difficult to see why so few fail to recognize the enormous contributions that African Americans have made to each and every part of our current lives, from the fields of science, medicine, engineering, politics and entertainment.   That is why when you see corporations and companies that take time to not only recognize but invest in the greatness of African Americans you acknowledge their efforts.

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I am happy to share that AT&T is one of those entities.  AT&T has been celebrating African Americans throughout the year as well, if it is not the work they are doing to improve communities of color, it is through campaigns such as their #DREAMINBLACK campaign which launched on February 1.

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The #DreamInBlack campaign not only has a list of 28 Future Makers list.  While the list is awesome with celebrities such as Queen Latifah, Zendaya and Van Jones, there are more of us out there making history as well.  They are offering others who are making history in their communities to be celebrated as well.  Current Black History makers can win a chance to win a spot on the list and more!

Dream in Black is an always-on platform where AT&T celebrated Black culture and the creators who shape it.  Dream in Black embodies a mindset where success can look like anything we can dream.

Here in Chicago AT&T is bringing one of its #DreamInBlack honorees DeVon Franklin to one of its local stares for a meet and greet.  Join in celebrating Dream in Black28! at the AT&T store at 8658 S. Cottage Grove Ave between 6–8pm on Thursday February 7, 2019 to meet . Learn how you can get his new book The Truth About Men courtesy of ! While supplies lasts.

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Are you ready to join the ranks of these Black History Makers.  Are you ready to show the world what you have to offer and what you are doing to celebrate and promote Black History everyday? Head over to the to their website and see how AT&T is celebrating Black Future Month.  Are you ready for the world to see how you are creating a promising future for others?

How do you #DreamInBlack?

Please share in the comments.

Be Blessed, Be Fabulous,

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