Automakers need diverse and creative thinking to solve problems and take advantage of opportunities to innovate.
This month, we celebrated International Women's Day -- an important day that helped us reflect and recognize the change happening in our industry and what we can do to adapt and thrive in this environment.
The $6 trillion automotive industry is experiencing a tremendous amount of disruption, and auto companies are being forced to transform their business at a greater speed than ever. How are they to keep pace and stay competitive?
They must embrace diverse and creative thinking to develop new ways to solve problems and take advantage of the opportunities that come with this disruption.
Diversity of thought -- which comes from diverse backgrounds, not just gender -- sparks innovation and is very important to the industry and its long-term success.
Women are underrepresented in the auto business and constitute only a fourth of the industry's work force. In management and engineering, the share is even smaller. There is still work to be done for gender parity, and we can all take steps toward equality in the workplace.
Companies could consider three bold actions to bring about this change:
1. Include more women in the leadership pipeline.
2. Encourage senior leaders to become sponsors of women.
3. Foster a company culture of diversity and inclusion.
Women themselves would benefit from three actions:
1. Seek out mentors.
2. Expand your network of business contacts.
3. Take charge of your career and set your own career priorities.
And the men of the industry also have a critical role to play:
1. Become a mentor or sponsor of a woman.
2. Make networking opportunities more inclusive.
3. Check for bias in your own decision-making.
Every business leader is in a position to act now to make gender parity a reality -- faster.