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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Facebook Tips From the Pros

boostyourbuswithfacebookFor those of you who may or may not know September 15-October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month.  In conjunction with the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Facebook hosted a “Boost Your Business’ event in Chicago and I am happy to say that I participated.  These events are taking place around the country, so I encourage each of you to find out if it is coming to a city near you and if so register.  It’s FREE and it is INVALUABLE.

The event started off with remarks from Congressman Luis Gutierrez who spoke not only about how he uses Facebook, but how successful his office has been about sharing important and useful information on Facebook for his English as well as his Latino constituents.  The Congressman shared how successful his interactions have been on Facebook as well as the criticism.  His remarks demonstrated just how much Facebook means in our daily interactions.  Facebook is no longer social it is a lifeline, keeping people up-to-date not only on the social but political and other aspects of life as well.

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During an amazing presentation from one of the Facebook staffers, we learned that millions of people navigate social media today and that Facebook has worked hard to tailor your experience to meet your specific needs.  Utilizing Facebook ads, you can specifically target your demographic by gender, age, employment status, time of usage and so many more options.  Using Facebook ads can be an inexpensive impactful asset to your business.  You can also review in real time how effective your ads are and determine, how much, how little and how often your ads are shown to Facebook users.  What helpful information right in the palm of hand or right on your laptop.

There was also a panel discussion with local business owners who are currently using Facebook to promote their business.  They answered pre-selected questions from event registrants about the effectiveness of Facebook and social media in regard to their business.  One major take away from the panel was how immediate you can assess the results of a Facebook ad versus traditional media platforms where it may be some time before you can see the results of your advertising budgets.  The panel of small business owners gave event participants great information on how advertising and marketing with Facebook can be beneficial to successful business.

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In addition to celebrating the contributions of Hispanic and Latino owned businesses, the seminar demonstrated just how valuable Facebook can be to your business.  Before I attended this workshop I was not aware of just how useful Facebook could be to growing my business.  Now there is no doubt that Facebook is a tool that every business no matter what the size, can help with advertising and promoting your services and your business almost better than radio and television advertising.  Facebook is gaining momentum as an advertising and marketing tool.  There were even some apps recommended such as Boomerang and Hyperlapse, which can help you effectively market your business or services.

facebook-businessChicago is not the only stop on tour.  To see where else the event is headed and to see if it will be in a city near you check Faceboo Boost Your Business events.    Check Facebook for Facebook Business as well as courses to learn the various ways that Facebook can help you Boost Your Business.