The event is part of a wider initiative across the globe in which Cox Automotive celebrates the accomplishments of women in the automotive industry every day.
Women with Drive was conceived to create a ‘think big’ attitude and an inclusive space for every voice—a key theme at the recent event in Mississauga.
“Gender diversity is essential,” said Maria Soklis, President, Cox Automotive Canada. “Cox Automotive continues to work hard to cultivate and maintain a culture that values true diversity and inclusiveness. We all end up winning, when the most talented and capable people can rise to the top—regardless of what they look like, their religious beliefs, or where they come from.”
The event began with a team lunch, followed by keynote address from Janet Barnard, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer, Cox Automotive. Barnard shared encouraging words of wisdom that included:
- Establish your own Board of Directors
- Find advocates and mentors
- Select those with your best interests at heart
- Don’t be afraid to show your true self
- Seek stretch assignments
- Innovate every day
- Have a higher purpose
- Never quit
A panel discussion—hosted by Grace Kong, Vice President, Human Resources, Cox Automotive Canada—offered personal and valuable insights into what it means to make rewarding career choices, while choosing to champion equality in and out of the workplace.
During an insightful Q&A session, panelists—Leanne Kripp, Director, Head of Autos, Kijiji, Helen Fotinos, Partner, Dentons Canada LLP, and Mary Liptay, CFO, COO, The Great Northern Auction (TGNA)—discussed the importance of further developing and supporting women in the industry.
The Second City Works led an interactive experience that helped to round out the afternoon. Famous for crafting events that are interactive, educational and fun, The Second City Works provided Cox Automotive Canada team members with a crash course in improv as a tool for better collaboration, innovation, and agility.
With the goal of continuing to strengthen and inspire the workforce, Cox Automotive Canada’s latest Women With Drive event looked to empower team members—male and female alike—while also aiming to inspire improvement and drive personal growth.