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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Made Magazine

Chicago is a town known for worldwide successful publications. The Chicago Defender, Ebony, Jet and other publications were born and bred in Chicago and have been Chicago staples for centuries. Recently I had the opportunity to attend Made Media Day at Made at Fame studios in the Chicago Pilsen neighborhood. In the time where many publications are choosing to go digital, Made has come and Made is making its mark in the Chicago media landscape.

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Made magazine is a publication that is looking to change the way millennials get their news. Instead of the news stories delivering shade, the latest celebrity gossip or delivering the ‘tea’, Made magazine seeks to highlight positivity, share resources and ultimately help millennials be successful. The publication has three areas of focus: 1. To Educate, 2. To Elevate and 3. To Empower.

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According to their Website Made Magazine is a “MULTI-CHANNEL PLATFORM TO AMPLIFY THE VOICES OF CONTENT CREATORS. MADE is an aggregator and curator of fresh content MADE to inform and inspire our diverse community of forward-thinking millennials. Our mission is to amplify the voices and platforms of content creators and creative leaders, on and offline. Through our multi-channel platform, we publish a bi-monthly digital and print magazine, daily online outlet and monthly national events to cultivate our community.”

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With this focus in mind, Made also seeks to amplify the voices of creators of color. This is one of the reasons that Made sought the three areas in which their content is published. Made can be seen in print, online and experienced through live events/ summits and conferences. Made is composed of six channels: Made Mindset (Personal Development), Founders Row (Entrepreneurship), Sound & Color (Art), Hollywood Heights (Entertainment), Creative Currency (Finance) and Made Maven (Women).

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According to Made’s publisher Kris Christian, in a time where people are leaving Chicago for places like LA and New York, Chicago is full of opportunities. She states “We have creatives here. People leave but it is important to cultivate a community here.” That is the primary reason that Made has made Chicago it’s home. Made is a magazine for millennials, according to Christian, “60 percent of Made’s readers are female with the other 40 percent of readers being male”.

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Kris Christian, Publisher

Made believes that creativity is the currency of the future. That it takes influential networks, rich resources and optimal exposure to harness the power and future of Black creatives. The vibe of the Media Day definitely showed that there was spirit of creativity as well as collaboration. Not only was the Made teams showcasing the work they had already done, they were providing content creators the opportunity to work with them in order to be featured on one or several of Made’s platforms.

 

 

The publications that were already been printed as well as the digital version of the magazine were impressive. The content was created for the everyday person and was relevant and relatable. The digital version was full of fresh content and easy to navigate. Made is definitely a publication of the future and a welcome addition to the rich literary landscape of Chicago.

For more information or to check out Made: http://www.made-magazine.com/

Be Blessed, Be Fabulous

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