Women’s Leadership Conference Draws International Crowd

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AIA vice president France Daviault.

In the face of technological, demographic, and social change, events like the recent Women’s Leadership Conference are critical for the automotive aftermarket, says AIA vice president France Daviault.

She opened the Toronto conference – jointly organized by the Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA), and the U.S.-based Women in Auto Care – with a call to action.

“In order for our industry to remain relevant in the face of changing technology,” she said, “we need to take a serious look at how we are recruiting and retaining women in this sector.”

Tammy Tecklenburg, president of Women in Auto Care

Tammy Tecklenburg, president of Women in Auto Care, said women’s conferences in North America have been growing year-on-year.

“I feel really proud to look out and see 200 women from North America here. And our mission is very simple. We’re here to connect, empower and mentor women in auto care,” she said.

Annie Hotte, Chief People Officer for Montreal-based Uni-Select was the first keynote speaker, encouraging women in the aftermarket to be continually open to learning while staying true to who they are.

She said she has relied on the advice offered by Don Miguel Ruiz in his 1997 book The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. He advocates choosing your words carefully, not taking anything personally, avoid making assumptions, and always give your best effort.

Annie Hotte, chief people officer at Uni-Select

To those pieces of advice, Hotte added one of her own: Find a comfortable work-life balance by letting go of the drive to always be perfect, unplugging, exercising regularly, and limiting time wasters.

“Start with small things that you change,” she said. “Remember, you’re not going to change everything at once. Integrate them in your habits.”

Kathy Korman Frey, adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Business gave attendees a chance to understand what practical mentoring is all about. And she encouraged them to find more than one mentor.

Read more snippets from the speakers and check out photos in the full article, by Allan Janssen, at autoserviceworld.com

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