Women influence more than 80 percent of new car purchase decisions, yet when they walk into a dealership showroom they are rarely greeted by another woman.

Research abroad shows that organisations with more inclusive cultures achieve better business outcomes and will be better positioned to thrive in the new world of business.

Diversity in the workplace must start from the top. The behaviour of an inclusive leader makes up to 70 percent difference in how an individual feels in the workplace, resulting in increased productivity, greater innovation and idea generation, and better collaboration – ultimately a team that performs better.

One key aspect of diversity that has been at the forefront of recent conversations is gender equality, and the automotive industry has been part of that discussion globally. For a number of years, Deloitte has been working to address the gender gap in the global automotive industry.

Women represent an untapped, under-utilised workforce highly capable of helping automotive companies seize a competitive advantage.

This panel will celebrate the leading and most influential women working in the automotive industry in Australia. Hosted by Deloitte’s Karen Spear, we will hear their stories and explore their views on the recruitment, retention and advancement of women working in automotive, and understand where they see the opportunities for improvement across the industry.
Karen is a retail strategist and customer marketer with over 18 years’ experience across retail, consumer products, telecommunications and financial services.

Having worked both agency and client side across a diverse range of disciplines and channels, Karen draws on her understanding of customer behaviour, coupled with the latest global trends and best practice knowledge, to develop strategies that grow sales and increase customer engagement.

Karen leads the National Customer Experience Practice for Deloitte Motor Industry Services. Most recently she has worked with leading automotive manufacturers to deliver customer journey mapping, voice of customer and retail experience strategy and design projects.

Karen is passionate about the changing behaviour of customers and how the industry must respond. She leads the Future of Retail initiative for Motor Industry Services and sits on both the Deloitte National Retail and the Consumer Industries and Products groups.

Part of the second generation of the multi-franchised Phil Gilbert Motor Group family, Edwina Gilbert lives the ‘Phil Says’ values – 13 guidelines that focus on guest-centric activities, building retention and loyalty.

The Group focuses on being innovative in a heavily structured franchised environment in order to differentiate its offering for staff and guests. Edwina has participated in sub-committees for the Toyota brand and has participated in the Hyundai National Dealer Council. She is also a non-executive Director of Carsales.com Ltd. She is keen to advance the initiatives of balancing the workforce in the automotive industry.

Political and Public Policy Specialist, Stefanee Lovett, capitalises on her more than 20 years’ experience in public and corporate affairs.

In an often-complex and challenging environment, Stefanee’s ability to quickly distil issues and provide strategic advice is highly valued by some of Australia’s most recognised brands and peak bodies.

Stefanee is a recognised specialist with a proven record in regulatory change and reform and business-related approvals, particularly foreign investment transactions. With a unique background in the public sector (anti-trust/competition regulator), private sector (peak bodies) and politics (staffing), Stefanee has extensive experience across a range of sectors including automotive, health, defence, ICT, financial services, resources, agriculture, law enforcement, aged care, manufacturing and emerging technologies.

Rebecca Frizelle is Chief Operating Officer of Frizelle Prestige and a key shareholder at Frizelle Sunshine Automotive and PWA. In 2014, she was appointed to the Board of the Gold Coast Titans and became the first female Chair in the NRL code. She stepped down from the role in September 2017 to pursue a personal stake in the club.

Rebecca is a Director of Sunland Group Ltd, a Director of the Griffith University Advisory Board, Audi Australia Foundation Board, St Hilda’s School Foundation and a Member of the AICD.

Known for her strong advocacy for the City of Gold Coast, she is also one of the largest employers there, with more than 800 people now under the Frizelle Sunshine group. She’s a proud mother of three and a loyal supporter of women in leadership roles.

Raelene Murphy is a professional Non-Executive Director on a number of private and ASX 200-listed company boards across a number of industries, including the Stillwell Motor Group, Bega Cheese Limited, Altium Limited, Service Stream Limited, Integral Diagnostics and Cleanseas Limited.

Prior to embarking on a career as a Non-Executive Director, she was Managing Director of Korda Mentha Corporate Turnaround and was also a partner in a top tier accounting firm. For around seven years she was CEO of the Delta Group, a leading national civil engineering firm, where she led a successful transformation in a male-dominated culture. Raelene has a track record of creating shareholder value in a sustainable and well-governed environment.

Gender diversity is far from tokenism; it is a smart move forward into the reality of 2020 and beyond. Make sure you’re not left behind.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *