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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Brunch and Style Party @ Style Room 326

Style Room 326 Brunch and Style

I spent the first weekend of this year at the Brunch and Style Party at Style Room 326Style Room 326 is the first of its kind members only wholesale, retail fashion showroom for women.  Owner Teresa Wilkes Washington hosted a group of fashionable, professional women for an afternoon of brunch, mimosas and fashion conversation.  It was an awesome experience.

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Teresa Wilkes Washington, Owner Style Room 326

Each participant was asked to bring an item of clothing that they had not worn.  Teresa and the other women in attendance provided excellent fashion advice on how to style the pieces and offered suggestions on how and where to best wear the selected items.  It was like having a group of your closest best friends in your closet helping you pull outfits together.  Did I mention that there was also endless mimosas?

In addition to talk about fashion and proper foundational garments (all of us women need that conversation at least once or twice in our lives), there was a makeup artist on hand to assist us in trying out different looks with our makeup.  Honestly, no matter how old you are what women doesn’t enjoy playing or experimenting in makeup from time to time.  Remember the mimosas?

All of us let the event with wonderful parting gifts which included a membership to the showroom.  I will definitely be using my membership this year.  There are some excellent options and the opportunity to shop in an environment where there are no crowds or overbearing sales people makes the shopping experience more enjoyable for me.  If that is your type of shopping I recommend that you stop by Style Room 326.  I cannot guarantee that there will be mimosas, but there were mimosas at the Brunch and Style Event.

If you have never been to Style Room 326, I suggest you go by, take a look at the amazing fashion they have and sign up for your membership.  The membership is affordable, so don’t worry about breaking the bank.  If you follow Teresa or the showroom on social media you will always see Teresa modeling pieces that are available in the showroom, pieces that you will not see on everyone.

Style Room 326 offers many benefits to its members.  The ability to gain first access to exclusive fashion shows, shopping for classic, timeless pieces for your wardrobe and the ability to do so in an environment that evokes fabulous is what Style Room 326 offers.  Teresa has done an amazing job of curating a fashion experience, that will have you coming back for more and waiting for the hottest new arrivals.  If you have a passion for fashion, then Style Room 326 should be at the top of your shopping list.

Style Room 326 is located at 1722 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago or visit their website http://www.styleroom326.com

 

Be Blessed, Be Fabulous!

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