January 30, 2018

We’re less than two months away from the 2018 Women & Automotive Canadian Leadership Forum! As we have in years past, we’re making sure W&A 2018 is the best time investment for you packed into a single day at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto.

As always, our esteemed speakers all forged their own way and, in doing so, helped lay down a path for others in the automotive industry. We had a multitude of proposals to wade through from a wide array of successful figures throughout the auto industry.

Let’s check out a few of the speakers we’ve confirmed for this year’s forum:

Shannon Friesen
Vice President of Dealer Services
Canada Drives

After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan, Shannon Friesen began her career at Canada Drives as an administrative assistant, and she quickly made the most of it — in 2013, she ascended to her current post.

Carrie Oliva
Director of Web Development and Optimization
Strathcom Media

After studying marketing, advertising and design, Carrie Oliva began her career at Strathcom Media in 2012 as a front-end web developer and designer. Oliva now helps to helm the department into which she was hired.

Becca Polak
Chief Legal Officer/President
KAR Auction Services/TradeRev

Becca Polak practiced law in Dallas, Texas and Indianapolis, Ind. for 10 years before switching gears and joining KAR Auction Services in 2005. With KAR, Polak has served as secretary, counsel and chief legal officer, and is also president of TradeRev.

Ali Woodley
Plant 1 Manager
Honda of Canada Manufacturing

With over 30 years’ experience with Honda of Canada Manufacturing, Ali Woodley has risen up the ranks to one of the most coveted positions in the company. Woodley began her journey in 1986 in the paint department and has since assumed many leadership roles.

That’s a broad swath of experience. These four women represent the very heart of W&A: Women who have worked hard and achieved leadership status, thus making it easier for the women who follow them. Their stories and wisdom make W&A 2018 an event you can’t afford to miss.

These wonderful women and others will expound upon some of the most urgent topics facing women in the automotive industry today.

In our last blog post, we talked about the importance of women ascending to leadership roles. We looked at the fact that, indeed, more women have assumed executive and other upper-level roles over the past two decades than at any other time in Canadian history. The times, they most certainly are a-changin’, after all.

But how exactly are they changing?

We’ll look at how leadership itself has changed. We’ll explore the shifting dynamics between the importance of networking and resumes. We’ll figure out how best to construct an inclusive, supportive company culture to foster growth and excellence for everyone. And, of course, we’ll address the elephant constantly hovering in the room — sexism and gender bias, as well as real-world strategies for fighting these social ills and advancing women past them.

We’re very proud of the content and speakers we’ve arranged for you. Stay tuned for the official agenda release. Meanwhile, plan for a busy and fruitful day in Toronto full of enlightenment and networking for all attendees.

To register for this year’s Women & Automotive Canadian Leadership Forum, visit womenandautomotive.com/register. Early bird discounts run through Feb. 28.