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What Women Want: A Perspective on the Automotive Industry

Published February 16, 2020


Sheryll Poe, Profile Picture, 175x175

Sheryll Poe


What do women in automotive want? The same thing as everyone else. “Women want a place to grow and develop,” said Lori Wittman, senior vice president of Dealer Software Solutions for Cox Automotive.

Wittman was part of a powerhouse panel discussion on the NADA Live Stage that covered everything from mentoring to unconscious biases. She was joined by Cox Automotive Chief People Officer Janet Barnard, Liza Myers Borches, president & CEO Carter Myers Automotive and Barbara Cox Woman of the Year, and Hannah Gearhart, a senior Northwood University majoring in automotive marketing and Barbara Cox Memorial Scholarship recipient.

It’s a new world for the latest generation of women in automotive, according to Gearhart. “Most of my supervisors in my internships have been females.” On the other side of the spectrum, Wittman said she’s only worked for two women over the course of her 30-year career. Yet she sees the same generational shift in gender attitudes with her own two sons. “There aren’t these boxes around what men and women do,” Wittman said about her sons. “They grew up with moms like us and it gives me a lot of hope.”

There’s room for everyone and a place at the table to all perspectives, Borches said. “As we continue to evolve, we’ve got to have all viewpoints.” Watch more from this session, including how women can have more confidence and the importance of both male and female mentorships.

And be sure to catch our other live coverage all weekend from the NADA Live Stage.