What Drives Her at the Chicago Auto Show: Meet the Women Who Are Taking the Auto World by Storm

What Drives Her Chicago Auto Show

And sharing their advice so you can, too.

Five years ago I fell in love. With the automotive industry. And along with it, cars.

It wasn’t the most natural journey for me; cars were not really my passion. I like design, I like to shop, I like innovative industries and I like to be a part of important social change. I didn’t see cars as a leading force in those areas.

But I took a chance on the auto industry and was overwhelmed by the reception. The women I met embraced me, invited me in, enthusiastically shared their passion for the business. They showed me how smart, fun, style-forward and empowering the auto business is, and how deeply wonderful its people can be. I was smitten.

Meet Celeste Briggs who helps women-owned GM dealerships reach new heights of success

What Drives Her: A Luncheon Event Where Amazing Women Take the Stage

As we began building what is now A Girls Guide to Cars we wanted to showcase these women who are making huge strides, both in the auto business and in their personal career journeys. Our stories showcase these women as they share insights about their jobs, how they make tough decisions, how their career influences their families and children, how they balance life and work, and how they lead in a male-dominated industry where it can be tough to break through.

Last year, in talking with the leadership at the Chicago Auto Show, we saw an opportunity to bring these women to a stage where they can inspire and empower other women. We also partnered with Women in Automotive, an industry group missioned with helping women to build automotive careers. They, too, recognize the passion that so many women have for this business and are missioned to help them to navigate the issues and barriers.

Meet Kelly Webb Roberts, who took the reigns of her family’s dealership and is taking it to new success

What Drives Her Chicago Auto Show

Panelists at the What Drives Her event at the Chicago Auto Show include (clockwise from the top left) Jennifer Newman Cars.com, Michelle Krebs, AutoTrader, Jody Hall, Steel Market Development Institute, Kelly Webb Roberts, Webb Auto Group, Kim Stonehouse, Facebook, Camron Wilson, NADA and Scotty Reiss, A Girls Guide to Cars.

Why What Drives Her is So Important, and Why You Should Join Us

Here’s an amazing statistic: Women buy or influence the purchase of 85% of all cars, yet they hold only about 27% of all the jobs in the auto industry.

Women who work in auto businesses have an 80% job turnover rate and most of that happens in the first month on the job.

However, when women succeed in an automotive job, they tend to be highly successful sales people, product managers and leaders. Everyone agrees, we need more women in the auto business. It is critical to the health and future of the auto industry.

And, more women want to work in automotive. Many women recognize the opportunity to build a successful and financially rewarding career, but breaking through the barriers can be tough.

Women attending the What Drives Her Luncheon will gain insight, learn best practices and make new connections to help them on their career journey.

Meet Sheryl Connelly, Ford’s futurist who helps to keep the auto maker focused on the people it serves on its journey in mobility

The Most Successful Career Strategy? Get the Help of Another Woman.

And there couldn’t be a more amazing group than this one. Our program will feature discussion with: Celeste Briggs, director of General Motors Women’s Retail Network, Kimberley Gardiner, Kia’s Director of Marketing Communications, Marissa Hunter, director of brand advertising at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Cristina Aquino, Ford’s Mini and Medium Utility Marketing manager, Monique Kumpis, Hyundai’s Senior Group Manager of Brand Marketing and Advertising, Dr. Jody Hall, Steel Market Development Institute Vice President, Automotive Market, Jennifer Newman, Cars.com Editor in Chief, Kim Stonehouse, Facebook’s Auto Industry Manager, and Camron Wilson, National Automobile Dealer Association (NADA) Director of Instructor Led Training and Business Development. And I’m honored to take the stage along with Kelly Webb Roberts of Webb Auto Group and Michele Krebs, senior analyst at AutoTrader, to moderate the discussions.

These women will share their insights, experiences and industry trends: they’ll raise issues and answer questions. And they’ll help women at the event to elevate their ambition and drive.

Meet Jody Hall who is forging new futures for auto safety, efficiency and sustainability

Join Us and Be a Part of the Movement

If you’d like to attend, we welcome you! Simply respond to our Facebook event and let us know why you’d like to attend. Qualified guests will be contacted and added to the guest list. And if you can’t join us in person you can join the event on Facebook Live and across social media. Women in Automotive will share the event on Facebook, and you can keep up with the rest of the fun by following the hashtag #WhatDrivesHerCAS.

Need more inspiration? These are just some of the amazing women we’ve featured on our pages: GMC’s Helen Emsley, Adient’s (and former Fiat brand manager) Nichole Longhini, sales crusher Lisa Copeland, FCA’s Alison Rahm, Nissan’s Rebecca Vest, Michelin’s Claire Clauzel, Genesis’ Kate Fabian, Lexus’ Peggy Turner, Ford’s Erica Klampfl. Find all our stories here!

Learn about the What Drives Her Luncheon from our Facebook Event and join us on February 9th!

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss