On April 5, 2017, major automotive industry players gathered for the second-annual Women & Automotive Canadian Leadership Forum at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.
Much of the agenda centred around open discussions on the challenges women still face today in climbing the corporate ladder, as well as the sharing of best practices for increasing the number of women in positions of influence.
Diana Ricketts, LGM’s vice president of strategic partnerships, was in attendance for the second year in a row. Though all of the content was valuable, for her a key highlight of the day was hearing stories of the obstacles female leaders have had to overcome to reach their professional aspirations.
In her opinion, although the gender bias still exists, the atmosphere of the auto industry has improved significantly since she first started out in her career in 1989.
“I think it is important to recognize how far women have come in automotive,” says Ricketts. “As much as it still remains a somewhat male-dominated industry, women are entering all facets of auto more frequently and are very successful in their careers.”
As for advice for women starting out in the world of automotive, Ricketts emphasizes there is strength in diversity.
“If anything, women bring an entirely different perspective and often a different way of handling situations,” she says. “Embrace those differences, and always be true to yourself.”