Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. saw its President and CEO, Don Romano, recognized by the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) through their 2023 Canadian Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (CEDI) Awards.
Romano was granted the Ally of Excellence Award for being an impactful leader and for his contribution toward making Canada a more equitable, diverse and inclusive country, both in his workplace and community. The event took place at the Canadian Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Summit and Awards, on June 1st, at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.
Romano has been a catalyst for change within the automotive industry by championing causes that support underrepresented and equity-deserving groups. Under Romano’s leadership, seven women have been put into senior roles at Hyundai Auto Canada since 2021. He is the first and only automotive industry leader to be recognized by WXN (Women’s Executive Network) for his leadership efforts in making this industry sector a more inclusive space that is representative of the diverse Canadian market.
Progress for humanity
Applying Hyundai’s global vision of ‘progress for humanity’ to all business and community projects, Romano is a strong supporter of 360ºkids, an organization offering to program for at-risk and unhoused youth. In 2022 and 2023, Romano and senior Hyundai Auto Canada leaders spent the night on the streets to raise awareness for 360ºkids.
With the understanding major transformation requires several tangible initiatives, Don Romano has established several projects to foster a more inclusive automotive industry. Romano was the first CEO in the automotive industry to sign the BlackNorth Initiative’s CEO Pledge. Under his leadership, Hyundai Canada has repeatedly won Best Workplaces for Women by Great Place to Work, not to mention being among the Top 50 Best Workplaces in Canada for six consecutive years. Romano provided the executive support needed to launch Empowering Auto, a federally registered not-for-profit organization separate from Hyundai that hosts an annual conference, to raise professional profiles and create networking and mentoring opportunities to help recruit and retain women in the automotive industry.
“While there is still a lot of work to be done, it is also important to acknowledge the strides taken to have a truly inclusive and equitable workplace where everyone feels welcome and accepted,” says Don Romano, President and CEO at Hyundai Canada. “This award is an honourable recognition and is owed to the collective effort by our team members at Hyundai, who strive to make our corporate vision come to life and truly embody our DEI policies and practices. We will continue to learn, listen and take measures that support and welcome employees and customers from all walks of life into the Hyundai community.”
Don Romano was among the 15 leaders honoured by WXN for their work and championship of equity, diversity and inclusion within their organizations, communities and workplaces.