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A Remarkable Success: The First US Women Automotive Summit in Detroit

on June 17, 2024

We are excited to share the outstanding success of our first US Women Automotive Summit in Detroit! The energy was incredible, and we're thrilled to carry this momentum forward to Stuttgart on October 8th for our next Summit.

Incredible Attendance

The event saw an impressive turnout, with over 400 in-person attendees and 250 live viewers from 33 countries, totalling 679 participants. This far exceeded our expectations and set a high benchmark for future events. The diverse representation from various parts of the globe highlighted the universal importance and appeal of fostering an inclusive automotive industry.

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Inspiring Highlights

The summit featured remarkable talks and panel discussions from industry leaders representing some of the most influential companies in the automotive sector, including Ford, Genesis, General Motors, Flex, AlixPartners, and PPG. Here are some notable quotes that resonated with many:

  • “Being among 400+ inspiring women and their allies was powerful.”
  • "Reflecting on shared challenges and leadership in a diverse industry was enlightening."
  • "Always dare to ask your question!"
  • Melinda Mernovage: “Be brave enough to speak up or make a decision when you know something isn’t right.”
  • Melinda Mernovage: “You should have the intuition and use the rational mind to challenge the intuition.”
  • Mandi Damman: "Be where you need to be, and be where you are."
  • Ashwini Balasubramanian: "Trust in yourself. I wish I had taken the leap sooner."
  • Yvette Zhang: "Disrupt yourself, before you get disrupted against your will."

Key Takeaways

The summit provided valuable insights and actionable takeaways for all participants. These include:

  • Be present in your choices: In a rapidly evolving industry, it's crucial to remain focused and deliberate in decision-making.
  • Build a strong support network: Cultivating a community of mentors, peers, and allies is essential for personal and professional growth.
  • Trust your intuition: Combining intuition with rational analysis can lead to better outcomes.
  • Focus on what you can control: Managing the controllable aspects of your work and life can help navigate uncertainties effectively.

Positive Feedback

The feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. Being in the company of over 400 inspiring and experienced women leaders was empowering. It was a space where we could share our experiences, reflect on common challenges, and celebrate our diverse backgrounds. Participants left the summit feeling motivated and equipped with new strategies to implement in their careers.

Our Network’s mission to inspire, empower, and connect women globally was vividly realized at this summit. Together, we are shaping a more inclusive, innovative, and diverse automotive industry.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to making this event unforgettable. Let's continue to support and uplift each other as we drive change in our industry.

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WOMEN AUTOMOTIVE NETWORK DETROIT AWARDS

In partnership with Wards Auto, the Women Automotive Network presented the Automotive Woman of the Year and Global DEI Champion of the Year awards. These awards are designed to recognize and honor those who have made significant contributions to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the automotive industry.

Awards

  • Global DEI Champion of the Year: This award honors a multinational company that has exhibited outstanding dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives on a global scale, fostering an inclusive workplace culture and driving meaningful change within the industry.
  • Automotive Woman of the Year: This category recognizes a woman who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to advancing automotive technology, driving innovation, and inspiring others in the field.

Winners

  • Global DEI Champion of the Year: FANUC - Recognized for their comprehensive DEI initiatives that have significantly impacted their workplace culture and industry standards.

  • Automotive Woman of the Year: Padmini Navalgund - Celebrated for her pioneering work in automotive technology and her role as a mentor and leader.

Shortlisted Nominees

The shortlisted nominees for these prestigious awards were:

  • Global DEI Champion of the Year:
    • Fanuc
    • Altair
    • AlixPartners
    • KPIT
  • Automotive Woman of the Year:
    • April Stevens, Director of North America Manufacturing Operational Efficiency, Ford Motor Company
    • Marygracesoleil Ericson, Senior Director of Global Program Management, Harman International
    • Padmini Navalgund, Program Manager, Bosch Global Software Technologies
    • Maria Uvarova, Senior Vice President, Software Product Management, Stellantis
    • Wendy Bauer, Vice President and General Manager - Automotive & Manufacturing, AWS

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UNLOCK YOUR POTENTIAL WITH OUR EXCLUSIVE MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

Designed to empower women in automotive, our program is a flexible and open platform connecting aspiring and developing professionals to the experience and knowledge of a mentor that suits them best.

LEARN MORE & JOIN HERE

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Looking Ahead

As we look to the future, our next summit in Stuttgart on October 8th promises to be another milestone event.

BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW

Mark your calendars and register your interest for our 2025 event, scheduled for June 3rd. By coming together, we can continue to support and uplift each other, driving meaningful change in our industry.

Stay tuned for more updates and join us in shaping the future of the automotive industry! Together, we are stronger and more impactful.

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WOMEN AUTOMOTIVE NETWORK

Women Automotive Network is the only global community dedicated to empowering women in the automotive industry.

Our mission is to provide a platform for accelerating diversity discussion and inspiring change. Whilst offering unparalleled networking opportunities and support to achieve your best! Join our 40,000+ Network and get involved in our events, leadership interview series, mentorship program, job opportunities and much more.

For all enquiries, get in touch here 

Links:

Women Automotive Network Homepage: https://womenautomotivenetwork.com/

European Summit Agenda, October 8:

https://womenautomotivenetwork.com/pages/women-automotive-summit-europe

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