Chicago Auto Show Blog

What Drives Her at the Chicago Auto Show

Posted by: Jennifer Morand

Furthering its mission to honor and celebrate women in the automotive industry, the Chicago Auto Show partnered with Women in Automotive and A Girls Guide to Cars for the annual What Drives Her networking luncheon and panel discussion. 
Hosted during the show’s Media Preview, the What Drives Her panel brought together women working in automotive, manufacturing and media for a deep dive into the industry trends impacting the experience of women. The conversation, guided in part by Ford’s 2018 Trends Report, covered topics such as technology disruption, the gig economy and activism.
The What Drives Her event is just one example of how Chicago Auto Show organizers engage women. When it comes to the public show, Foresight Research reports the Chicago Auto Show has an almost even split of male and female attendees: approximately 54 percent are male and 46 percent are female. Studies also indicate that women influence 85% of the purchase decision when it comes to buying or leasing a new vehicle – furthering the case that females continue to be an extremely important cohort. 
Scotty Reiss, founder of A Girls Guide to Cars, kicked off a two-part panel discussion with a “Coffee Chat” featuring Editor in Chief Jennifer Newman; Facebook’s Industry Manager, Auto Team, Kim Stonehouse; Ford’s Mini and Medium Utility Marketing Manager Cristina Aquino; and Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) Vice President, Automotive Market, Dr. Jody Hall.
Following the coffee chat, Jill Ciminillo, the first female president of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, opened the presentation for the Word of Mouth Marketing Association’s 2018 Driving Engagement Award. Nissan was named the winner for its #SheDrives campaign in which the company provides driver’s education to women in Saudi Arabia, who just this year will be given the legal right to drive. 
The luncheon panel was led by Michelle Krebs, director, automotive relations, at, and included Hyundai Senior Group Manager of Brand Marketing and Advertising Monique Kumpis; General Motors Manager, Dealer Policy, Celeste Briggs; and Nissan Director, Chief Marketing Manager Anne Corrao. 
Additional commentary and anecdotes from the event can be found on social media with hashtag #WhatDrivesHerCAS. 
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