Chicago Auto Show: What Drives Her Luncheon

Hey Mama Hey! If you are following me on Instagram, you know I spent last week at the Chicago Auto Show. One of the highlight of my experience there was the 3rd Annual What Drives Her Luncheon & Panel.

On Friday morning 150 women from all backgrounds gathered to hear about the changes that are happening in the automotive industry. What started out as a very targeted discussion quickly took a turn to talk about issues we could all relate. What do you do when you follow your passion in a business where you my not necessarily feel welcome? Women from different generations shared their personal journeys. Imposter syndrome, being the lone woman voice in a room and the importance of mentorship all came up over and over again.

I enjoyed listening and learning. The lunch was delicious so I was eating my tasty salad in peace. Then it got real! The second panel was titled “Work, Life and Creating Balance While Building a Career”. Whhhaaaat?

Were they talking to me specifically!?!?!

The moderator was Jennifer Newman is the Editor in Chief of Cars.com and Mama of 2 boys. With her guiding the conversation they got to the good stuff really quickly. So much that I took out my notebook. There were some quotes that were just so on point I wanted to remember later.

  • When asked about the “balance” of work/life balance, Lauren Brandt (Facebook Client Solutions Manager and Returnity Project Co-founder) kept it real and said there is no balance. She thinks of it more like a pendulum. There are times when work is heavy and she isn’t as present at home. Other times her family need more of here attention and energy, in that case she relies on her team at work. Her only advice: “Be Kind to Yourself”
  • Kathy Gilbert (CDK Global Director of Sales & Business Development) brought up her shift in mindset when her Mama became sick. Caring for an elderly parent put things like her long hours in perspective. She mentioned how extremely important it is to find an organization that gives you the flexibility for things that are important to you. *Ding Ding Ding* This was ringing so true to me I almost raised my hand like I was in church!
  • Subi Ghosh (Senior Director of Dealer Strategy, Stream Companies) left us with the important point that work/life balance is not an individual sport. Open communication with your partner and work team can allow you to create a plan that works. *lightbulb goes off* Wait I don’t’ have to do this alone?

The luncheon was the highlight of Friday. I walked away inspired by the women that are making changes to an industry that is still very much male dominated. They shared the statistic 85% of car buying decisions are influenced by women BUT this number is not reflected in ads or the people employed in the industry. These women are changing this from the inside of their companies. I walked away with my head held high. It felt great know that women who in influential positions as top companies are dealing with the same thing I am juggling on a daily basis.

So, What Drives Her? For me it’s my husband and ObieQ, how proud both of them are of me. It’s all the Mamas I meet, in real life and in my DMs. It’s pushing myself more and more each day and learning about myself in the process. In the comments let me know What Drives YOU! I love hearing your answers and often find myself nodding along. We are all Mamas on this journey together!

*This post was Sponsored but all opinions are my own*

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