KPIT brings together women leaders to discuss the perfect blend of diversity for the mobility industry

From right opportunities, right mentoring, to being at the right place at the right time…from perseverance, passion, to people-skills. It takes more than what we know and more than what we see, to become a force to reckon, within the world of mobility.

KPIT technologies marketing thought leadership team, was glad to host a virtual panel discussion of inspiring insights, thoughts, experiences, with industry expert women leaders in the field of mobility.

Moderator:

Jayada Pandit, KPIT

Panelists:

Nancy Gioia, Executive Chairman, Blue Current; Principal, Gioia Consulting Services, LLC.
Dr. Cathy Choi, Executive Director, Engineering, Cummins Inc.
Ankur Ganguli, Director, Global Battery Engineering, General Motors
Gina Lopez, Vice President, Terminal Tractors, Kalmar
Priyamvada Hardikar, Head, Corporate Finance & Governance, KPIT

Statistics
  • Women influence a full 85% of all car purchases worth more than USD 80 bn, globally. However, women leaders designing these vehicles are fewer than 30 across the world.
  • Diversity in leadership drives innovation by 20%*. Yet, in 2018, in the top teams of 20 leading automotive companies, the ratio of men to women was 193:16*
  • Only 12.2% of the Board members in the technology industry are women.

For an industry that makes products for diverse people, it’s time to have diverse people helming the industry. In this special women-only panel, KPIT’s Jayada Pandit culls interesting insights from women leaders across the automotive industry to find out what it takes to get them where they are and how other women can follow suit.

On skewed ratios

The male to female ratio across industries is most alarming and this same trend continues across the leadership. While ambition is acknowledged and recognition that more diverse teams perform better is garnered, it’s important for women and girls entering the industry to see themselves reflected in leadership teams while getting the guidance toward advancing their careers in the company.

On Work-life balance

While the company’s role in enabling this is important, even more so is the decision around what the right balance is, as come to by men and women. Honesty with oneself, transparency and conversations with the right people at the right point in time is what can make a difference.

Women need not be superheroes, always.

Statistics from Deloitte Insights, Forbes, Women in Automotive Market Statistics
A lot of the challenges women face in a work balance perspective are self-imposed. So its imperative to ask for help when needed.

On conflict and its resolution

The first step here is to acknowledge that there’s conflict on the table and talk about it openly. Then, there needs to be a mindset that respects diverse perspectives because its the next step to reaching an objective. Once those hurdles are surmounted, its easy to arrive at a resolution.

Mentors are objective. They guide, advise, support.

Mentors teach one to advocate for others – it’s a part of active inclusion. Mentorship comes in many shapes and sizes and each one makes mentees think differently from where they once found themselves.

On comfort zones and moving out of them

This is critical in order to grow, be a part of something bigger than oneself and more importantly, make a difference. Pushing oneself out of one’s comfort zone mandates struggle, coping with struggle and eventually embracing the big vision.

Curiosity, Communication and Collaboration are critical criteria for growth.

Communication, team building, research and development, moving from the mechanical to software, understanding tools, looking for inductive solutions will become crucial and its imperative for women in the workforce to get ahead of this. That’s possible only when fuelled by relentless curiosity and the desire to learn which will drive engagement. That will enable understanding what stakeholders need so that a comprehensive solution may be devised for the customer base.

Failure, perseverance and the ability to adapt to different situations are key to success.

Failure is necessary. One cannot succeed without it. If one is succeeding all the time, either one isn’t taking adequate risks or one is not learning from it.

Conclusion

Diversity, is the art of thinking together towards a common goal to solve a variety of problems. But having just one day in a year to celebrate women shows that it’s a long road ahead. While diversity is a fact, inclusion is an act. It must encompass women and men and emphasize collaboration and cohesion when working toward a common goal. How organizations enable and ensure this will need to be seen but the women role models on the panel today, have set the ball rolling with critical food for thought.

Statistics from Deloitte Insights, Forbes, Women in Automotive Market Statistics

Access highlights of the event and the entire video by clicking here

Some screengrabs from the event

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