By Alex Dugas and Erin McLaughlin
Edmonton, Alberta -- October 4, 2017 -- The Advancing Women in Automotive Knowledge Exchange program (AWAKE!) event took place on September 28 in Edmonton, Alberta.
The event focused on shared visions and connecting with like-minded people who know where they are coming from and where they want to go. It gave women in the industry the opportunity to network with their peers and colleagues and share their diverse perspectives with each other.
“We need AWAKE because women are underrepresented in the automotive sector, and there’s a labour gap that we need to fill,” said France Daviault, Senior Director, Stakeholder Relations at AIA Canada. She continued, “This is not a women’s issue, this is an industry issue, and we want to work together to solve it.”
The event featured two presentations. The first was by Daviault, with a discussion titled, “Addressing the Labour Crunch.” Throughout, she largely focused on AIA’s program, AWAKE. In 2015, AIA Canada partnered with Status of Women of Canada to look at the experiences of women working in the automotive aftermarket in an attempt to gain a better understanding of their perceptions and experiences, and examine existing recruitment, retention and advancement practices. Since then, research has been conducted, a report published, a mentorship program has been created, and soon an HR Tool Kit will be available to help the industry address the issue of diversity in the workplace.
Daviault’s presentation touched on the AIA’s Labour Market Intelligence Tool, AutoConnect. AutoConnect is a website for the automotive aftermarket industry that will show the labour shortages and surpluses; compensation data; skills level and training requirements and much more.
Executive coach, Shoana Prasad, then gave a presentation titled "Your Personal Brand Legacy." Her presentation discussed the intricacies of building a legacy and tips on how to strengthen your personal brand.
The event also held networking opportunities for participants during the closing reception.
“I hope this is just the beginning. I want to be able to look back at us in ten years and say ‘We made some tangible, concrete progress,’” said Daviault.
For more information on this event and registration, please visit aiacanada.com.