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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Sparkle & Glam Beauty Fair

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If you are a makeup lover like myself and you were not at the #Sparkleandglamsoiree then you missed a fabulous experience.  Sparkle & Glam lived up to it’s name and was definitely an intimate, glamorous beauty event.  Sparkle & Glam is explained as an A-Z beauty experience and it lived up to its description.

The Venue

Sparkle & Glam was held at the beautiful and swanky restaurant BLVD in Chicago’s West Loop.  The venue is a beautiful tribute to the times when glitz and glamour were the rule of the day.  Satin draped semi-circular boots and spectacular chandeliers grace the space.  Mirrors, dim lighting and plus furniture greet you throughout the space.

The space has two levels.  The downstairs is an open area with a bar in the back of the room and then there is a curved staircase that leads you to the upper level where there are smaller rooms, rooms that could accommodate a private party complete with a fully stocked bar as well.

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The day started with a skin care class sponsored by Erno Laszlo Skincare.  The two masterclasses, skincare and makeup, were a apart of the VIP experience.  The skin care line, who was the go to line for Marilyn Monroe and JFK, included an opportunity to experiment with their products.

The full scale demonstration was led by one of the company’s representative and allowed us to clean our faces and have the opportunity to experience the step by step skincare process on the spot.  This doesn’t usually happen, you get your samples in most cases and go hoe and experiment.  The Laszlo class allowed us the opportunity to have the full experience, including bowls of water for washing and rinsing, and individual mirrors.  I must say that while I did not try all of the products all over my face (I suffer with adult acne and problem skin) I did spot test some of the products and they made my skin feel amazing.  The only complaint I would have is that later that day the moisturizer made my skin a tad oily.  The line is carried at high end stores and while maybe a good choice for some, it was out of my skin care budget.

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After the skincare class, we had an opportunity to go downstairs to the glam hall and experience some of the makeup and skincare brands that were onsite.  But before that we all received a complimentary drink ticket and there were refreshments provided as well.  The cookies that looked like MAC cosmetics were so good and went well with my drink.

The best of the best beauty brands were represented at the soiree.  Most brands you could think of from Burberry to Benefit were represented.  Not only did they have products for sale, many were offering complimentary makeup applications or the opportunity to have your browns done (they knew exactly what I needed).  There was no shortage of new fall products, samples or consultations.

 

After the drinks, snacks, mixing and mingling, it was time for the next masterclass which was a makeup demonstration by MAC.  The makeup artist Christy Wielosinski (@Christywillowmakeup) did an amazing job of showcasing some of the colors in MACs upcoming holiday collection.  Her makeup skills are amazing and she has a genuine and bubbly personality that made the demonstration enjoyable.

 

 

Of course we left the event with a bag full of swag.  Everything from full sized lipstick MGS Beauty (mgsaccessories.com) to perfume samples from Burberry.  Sparkle and Glam also provided samples of their brush cleaner and a beautiful bag to carry all of our purchases and freebies in.  It was a great event and a fabulous afternoon.  When the Sparkle & Glam Soiree returns to Chicago make sure to grab your ticket.

 

Be Blessed, Be Fabulous!

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