About Women In
The purpose of Women in Leadership network is to shift women’s perspective in seeing the automotive industry as an impactful career choice. It also serves to move Birchwood women leaders’ career into high gear by offering various events, supports and resources to develop and inspire Birchwood women to achieve their full potential. Sponsored by the President and CEO and chaired by the Chief Human Resource Officer, this network is open to all women team members who hold a leadership role with Birchwood. Consideration will be given to holding open events for all women employed with Birchwood.
The Birchwood workforce is young, with an average age of 35 and average years of service of 5.4. Women account for less than 18% of the workforce and are employed primarily in found in support services such as First Impressions, Contact Center, Service and Sales administration, Human Resources and Finance & Accounting.
As at March 27, 2016, of the 1093 team members, 4 women hold senior management roles, approximately 18 women held manager or team leader roles, 18 women held sales consultant roles and less than 10 were found in technical roles.
2016 Launch Women in Automotive Leadership Network
International Women’s Day on March 8, 2016 marked a call to action for accelerating gender parity. In 2014, the World Economic Forum predicted it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. A year later, the forum revised its prediction and suggested the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133. While the thought of taking 117 years to achieve gender parity is discouraging, it does offer us the opportunity to discuss how we might contribute to this important goal within the automotive industry.
Hiring, developing and promoting women is not only important from a global perspective, it is also a good business decision. Women influence 80 percent of new car purchases and make up 44 percent of primary vehicle buyers in 2010 (up from 20 percent in 1990) and 47 percent of women car shoppers prefer women sales consultants, according to Catalyst Quick Take: Women in the Automotive Industry.
Women in Leadership network objective is to encourage women to consider the automotive business as a career choice and continue the work to build a culture at Birchwood which supports and celebrates the accomplishments of women.
Access to Key Relationships with Influential Members of Leadership
A key element in career progression for both men and women is access to influential members of leadership. There are many things that team members must know and understand about Birchwood and the automotive industry in order to increase their value proposition.
Inspirational Role Models
It is natural to instinctively look for role models – individuals we can observe, learn from and emulate. While we take our own unique path, it is most often comprised of a composite of the experiences of others, sometimes unconsciously.
Building leadership skills and engaging in career development are key success factors. On a daily basis individuals are called to formally and/or informally lead others, and typically these skills are developed primarily through experience and examples of role models.
Developing professional support systems is essential for career success. There is power and influence in every network. Networks are becoming exponentially influential with the dawn of business social media tools such as Twitter and LinkedIn.
Recruiting Women into the Automotive Industry
To understand what’s driving women out of the industry — or preventing them from opting in and as a consequence are poorly represented throughout our talent pipeline, we must focus our efforts on achieving greater diversity in our recruitment processes.