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2018 Chicago Auto Show: What Drives Her Event Brings Together Women in Leadership Across the Automotive Industry

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Chicago Auto Show - What Drives Her Panel

Photo: Chicago Auto Show

With women like Mary Barra paving the way, it’s refreshing to see so many female faces making their way into automotive leadership roles. At the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, women in automotive were celebrated at the show’s second-annual What Drives Her event.

The What Drives Her event was created in partnership with Women in Automotive and A Girls Guide to Cars. The event took place during the auto show’s press days last week, giving journalists and social media influences the chance to hear from two panels of prominent women in the industry.

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The first panel brought together women from all aspects of automotive, from media to manufacturing. Panelists included Jennifer Newman, Editor-in-Chief; Kim Stonehouse, Facebook’s Industry Manager, Auto Team; Cristina Aquino, Ford’s Mini and Medium Utility Marketing Manager; and Dr. Jody Hall, Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) Vice President, Automotive Market.

Throughout the panel, the women discussed a variety of topics, from technology in automotive to activism on a larger scale. They acknowledged that the¬†automotive industry is not isolated; larger movements in today’s society influence the way automotive operates. When asked about issues such as closing the gender pay gap in automotive, Christina Aquino offered support. “It’s being aware of the different movements that we’re seeing around us,” she said. “And recognizing if someone’s voice isn’t being heard, we make sure to find ways to support them.”

The second part of the event included a presentation in which Jill Ciminillo, the Midwest Automotive Media Association’s first female president, presented Nissan with the 2018 Driving Engagement Award from the Word of Mouth Marketing Association.

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From there, a second panel took the stage, including Monique Kumpis, Hyundai Senior Group Manager of Brand Marketing; Celeste Briggs, General Motors Manager of Dealer Policy; and Anne Corrao, Nissan Director and Chief Marketing Manager. The group addressed challenges women in automotive face in the workplace, as well as the different approach sales teams take when selling to female customers. While the women acknowledged the progress automotive has made, they reminded the audience that there is still work to be done.

“We have come a long way, and I’m so excited to see people like Mary Barra as the CEO of GM,” said Monique Kumpis. “But I still think we have a long way to go.”

News Source: Chicago Auto Show