Taking Time to Recharge: Empowering Women in the Automotive Industry

Taking Time to Recharge: Empowering Women in the Automotive Industry

The Women In Automotive RECHARGE! conference not only provided a platform for women to connect and network but also served as a source of inspiration and empowerment.

The Women In Automotive (WIA) organization has been playing a significant role in the advancement and advocacy of women in the automotive industry for years. Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the WIA conference in Dallas, and it was an experience that left me feeling energized and motivated to make a difference in the automotive world.

The theme of the event, RECHARGE!, couldn’t have been more fitting. It was like a breath of fresh air to be surrounded by a community of positive, forward-thinking women who were excited to share their success stories and ideas with one another. The conference served as a mid-year refuel, reigniting the passion and drive for all attendees.

In 2022, WIA experienced a significant milestone when it was acquired by industry leaders Veronica Dunford, Gary May and Kathy Gilbert. This acquisition allowed WIA to revitalize its focus and expand its reach even further. According to their website, WIA champions women in the automotive industry through various avenues, including community building, education, mentorship and networking partnerships with dealers, industry allies and OEMs. The annual conference and regional events are just some of the ways WIA continues to grow and promote the role of women in this historically male-dominated industry.

One of the most empowering aspects of the RECHARGE! conference was the Mentoring Panel and Speed Mentoring Sessions that kicked off the event. These sessions provided attendees with the unique opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who could serve as mentors throughout their journey in the automotive world. Having a mentor is crucial in any industry, but especially so in a field where women have historically faced challenges in advancing their careers. The chance to match up with experienced mentors who were willing to share their wisdom and experiences was invaluable.

Gilbert, who kicked off the Mentoring session, emphasized the importance of having mentors who can shape and support us along the way. She spoke of how her own mentors played a significant role in her success and provided her with the guidance and support she needed to overcome obstacles and achieve her goals. We then broke into groups with a mentor and mentees at each table.

Throughout the conference, there were numerous takeaways that left attendees with valuable insights to apply in their personal and professional lives. Some of these takeaways included:

Learning the Female Customer Journey: Understanding the unique needs and preferences of female customers is essential for businesses to thrive in today’s market. The conference shed light on various aspects of the female customer journey and provided valuable strategies for enhancing customer experiences.

Personal Growth and Development: As individuals, we constantly evolve and grow. The conference emphasized the importance of investing in personal growth and development to become better leaders and professionals.

Paths to Promotion: Advancing in the automotive industry can be challenging, but the conference provided attendees with insights into various paths to promotion and tips for making career advancements.

Recharged Relationships: The conference highlighted the significance of mentorship, sponsorship and allyship in building strong professional relationships. These supportive networks can play a pivotal role in career growth and advancement. I truly feel the Women In Automotive RECHARGE! conference was a transformative experience for attendees. It not only provided a platform for women to connect and network but also served as a source of inspiration and empowerment. As the automotive industry continues to evolve, organizations like WIA will play a crucial role in driving positive change and breaking down barriers for women in the field. By taking time to recharge and refuel, women in the automotive industry can continue to make strides toward a more diverse and inclusive future.

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