April 12 speaker Bios

Additional information and accomplishments of our excellent speakers and panelists

Special edition hotline

Read the Special Edition Women Driven Magazine.

Industry Partners share their stories of
empowerment and support


BMO is committed to ensuring our workplace is an inclusive one, with zero barriers, in which employees feel they belong and are valued, respected and heard. Removing barriers ensures an equitable employee experience, with access to development and career advancement for our employees.  BMO is proud to be a recognized leader in diversity and inclusion.


To assist our dealers in promoting a culture around empathy, tolerance, and growth, DealerPILOT has created the Performance Academy, developed by industry strategists with over 42 years of collective experience. The DealerPILOT HR Performance Academy is designed to educate and support dealers by successfully onboarding, training, developing their leadership, culture, sales, BDC, parts and service teams in a new age of “modern retailing.” 

By providing different perspectives on the evolution of dealerships, with continuous improvement and enhanced engagement in mind, the Performance Academy offers a learning program around developing organizational success models and considers the role that diversity plays in today’s customer expectations.  

Let’s talk! To learn more about DealerPILOT’s Performance Academy, visit dealerpilothr.com  


At Toyota, our success begins and ends with our people. We are committed to diversity and inclusion, and we embrace unique human experiences to foster an environment of belonging.

Respect for People is one of the founding principles at Toyota and, through community partnerships and employee engagement, we are committed to fostering inclusion and equity within our organization, across the automotive industry and throughout society. Toyota’s global vision to build a more inclusive society forms the basis for our transformation into a mobility company. In Canada, we support organizations like StopGap and the Rick Hansen Foundation as they work to break down barriers to movement. The Toyota Canada Foundation is committed to diversifying STEM education in Canada by funding organizations like Actua, Let’s Talk Science, Indspire and the Black Business & Professional Association. Toyota Canada also has three employee-led business partnering groups focused on allyship, networking, education and inclusion in our workplace.

Automotive Business School of Canada

Auto Connect: Opportunities for Black youth.  In the spring of 2021, the Automotive Business School of Canada at Georgian partnered with Hyundai Canada and Accelerate Auto to host a virtual event for high school students across the province. The event was designed to encourage underrepresented groups, most specifically Black youth, to consider a career in the automotive industry. 

We are currently working on another virtual event for high school students across the province. The event will focus on career opportunities in the automotive industry, the need for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and pathways into those careers. 


RBC received the 2021 Catalyst Award in recognition for increasing the representation of women in leadership and promoting equal access to career opportunities for everyone.

RBC is ranked #2 overall and as the top financial institution in the global 2021Refinitiv Diversity & Inclusion Index, which identifies the top publicly traded companies globally with the most diverse and inclusive workplaces.
For the sixth year RBC has been named to the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI), an annual review that measures gender equality across internal company statistics, employee policies, external community support and engagement and gender-conscious product offerings.
Sponsor of Women Driven since 2020 and have had leaders participate as panelists.
Support leader participation in automotive industry mentoring, empowerment and inclusion events (Automotive News Leading Women Network).
Sponsor women and inclusion-focused organizations (The Prosperity ProjectNative Women’s Resource CenterSistering).

Women Impacting and Influencing Toyota (WiiT)


Focused on breaking down barriers for women while encouraging allyship through education and awareness.

Executive and peer-to-peer networking exposing women to career paths traditionally less travelled by women.

Celebrations for Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day and International Day of the Girl.


Leadbox has, from its inception, has been active in supporting inclusion and diversity. With a Latin-Canadian founder who emigrated from Venezuela nearly 15 years ago. As such, we have maintained an active practice of hiring a diverse workforce for more than 10 years. In addition to cultural diversity, we also have a diverse representation of gender in our organization and throughout every department in our organization. In an effort to share this practice outwardly, all of our job postings contain this message: 

Leadbox is a diverse and inclusive organization. We remain passionate about ensuring every team member from any background can do their best work with us. We believe that when people feel respected and included, they can be more creative, innovative, and successful.
We are Analytical Artists. We are Leadbox.

CIBC Auto Finance
  • CIBC Auto Finance Team hosted a CIBC Women in Auto Virtual VIP Night August 2021 with Leading Women from dealerships across Canada.
  • CIBC was the leading sponsor & participated on a panel in the 2021 Women in Automotive Canadian Leadership Forum, hosted by Auto Remarketing Canada.
  • Auto Remarketing Canada recognized our own Stephanie Lamb as honorees for Auto Remarketing Canada Women in Auto.
  • Tracy Best, Senior Vice-President of Mobile Advice at CIBC, who is also a Co-Executive Sponsor for the CIBC Women’s Network, participated on the panel along with Erin Buchanan – General Manager Manufacturing, TMMC, Alyssa McKeown – GM of Kitchener Hyundai and lastly, moderated by Petrina Gentil – Globe and Mail Automotive Journalist.
  • CIBC played a leading role in the Schulich Women in Leadership Inspire to Aspire Business Case Competition (March 6th, 2022).
  • At time of submission, 52% of CIBC District Managers are Women.
TD Auto Finance

At TD Auto Finance (TDAF), we are proud to support initiatives that focus on inclusiveness and equity in the auto industry. Here are a few recent examples:

  • TDAF and Business Banking’s GTA National Women in Leadership (WIL) Committees
  • Career panel discussion with senior women leaders that focused on career development in a virtual environment.
  • TDAF Table Talk sessions that allow employees in a small group sessions to learn more about the different departments led by senior leaders.
  • International Women’s Day Break the Bias virtual discussion with Cheryl Pounder.
  • Info session on understanding parental leaves.
  • Steering your career session on building relationships. 
  • Confirming the exact number on this – TDAF’s on-going commitment to diversity in senior leadership positions (approx.. 40% of managers and above are female).
  • Mentorship of future female leaders: 1:1 coaching, career development, training. 
  • Thrive pathways self-guided learning focused on women career development.
  • United Way charity support.
  • Help a Girl Out – free feminine product initiative launching in June. 
Cox Automotive

The Cox Automotive Women’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) is an enterprise-wide group  open to all employees, borne out of a strong desire to nurture and better support female empowerment and leadership opportunities in the workplace. It is an inclusive movement built to support female achievements, aspirations, and successes, with a ‘think big’ attitude and a space for every voice. We champion a culture of inclusion, diversity, and equity where everyone can share their unique perspectives, build meaningful connections, grow professionally, and propel our business forward.

The Women’s ERG equips our female team members with the necessary skills and informational “tools” to help them further their careers, as well as the careers of their team members and counterparts. While the group is about women, our fellow male colleagues are also on the committee to help champion the ERG’s mission statement as well.

Originally launched in Canada as Women With Drive in 2017, the Women’s ERG initiatives have the power to inspire every member and provide the opportunity for each to achieve her full potential in various forums, such as:

  • Hosting a variety of large-turnout events featuring industry leaders and in-person socials to connect and encourage team building and problem solving.
  • Collaborating with Cox Automotive’s other global markets to celebrate International Women’s Day every March with sessions featuring industry and workplace role-models with empowering discussions.

Cox Automotive believes in a world where no barrier – environmental or otherwise – should ever hold anyone back from fulfilling their individual dreams or aspirations.

Toyota Delivering Results through Inclusion, Vision and Education (DRIVE)

(DRIVE) – Focused on educating employees about the power of inclusiveness, equality and a diverse workplace.

Activities for Black History Month, Asian Heritage Month and National Indigenous Month

Guest speaker series focused on topics such as racism, microaggression and islamophobia

Auto Verify

At AutoVerify, equity and inclusiveness are at the core of what we do. Here are 3 ways we integrate this important principle into our daily operations and encourage the same inclusions across the auto industry: We view every decision through a diverse-lens:

40% of our Senior Management Team are women. We share our unique expertise with the entire industry.

We have two team members currently being honoured with awards recognizing their contributions– Natascha Jung, Director of Customer Success, with a 2022 Auto Remarking Canada Women & Automotive Profile in Leadership, and Dee Murphy, Product Manager, nominated as one of the Automotive Industry’s Most Influential Women.

We encourage education and knowledge sharing:

We have an Anti-Racism Anti-Oppression Committee that meets monthly to discuss relevant current events and ways we can increase education around diversity issues within our company, and apply these learnings to our business operations.

We have a #BeBetter Slack channel providing team members a venue to post and discuss sensitive topics related to equity and diversity.

KAR Global

KAR Global, the parent of ADESA and TradeRev, is committed to providing a work environment that appreciates diversity and does not tolerate discrimination, marginalization, hate or violence under any circumstances. We aim to foster a culture of belonging and open dialogue while providing resources and support for team members of all races, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and religions. 

We’ve created several Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programs focused on moving us forward along this path. We regularly survey our employees to gain insights, inform our plans and better understand what belonging means to them. We host an event series where we listen and learn from teams in an atmosphere of open dialogue. We’ve created a dedicated site on our intranet devoted to DEI activities and issues, sharing content on topics like unconscious bias, cultural celebrations, and being an ally in the workplace to support inclusion of historically marginalized groups. 

These initiatives resulted in the creation of several employee resource groups (ERGs) including Women@KAR, Asian Pacific Community@KAR, BLK@KAR, SABOR@KAR, LGBTQ+@KAR Mulitgenerations@KAR, Mental Wellness@KAR and Military@KAR. These employee-led groups are built around shared interests, identities and experiences. They’re open to all employees––those who identify with the group’s specific interest, identity-focus or experience as well as allies.  

These initiatives bring us closer to our goal to provide a space for employees to contribute; explore professional development opportunities, networking and mentorship; create an open forum for the exchange of ideas, and help foster an inclusive community.  


 Focused on building awareness and solutions that remove social and physical barriers across a broad spectrum of visible, invisible, temporary and permanent disabilities.

Disability and inclusion training available to all employees.

Guest speakers to amplify the conversation around mobility, disabilities and inclusion.

Thank you to our generous sponsors for helping advance our mission: amplifying women to thrive within automotive careers while cultivating a community of inspiration, innovation and equality.

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Stay Inspired

“I started to wonder if being a project manager was for me; I looked around at all the corner offices to figure out what it takes to be in those offices, and it was all middle-aged white men in navy suits and I thought, I am never going to be a middle-aged man in a navy suit, so I basically did what I always did, I worked harder than anyone else.”

-Laura Schwab

“When you make the biggest changes in your life, you grow the most. Don’t be afraid—it makes you open to change and to incredible experiences.”

-Amy Marentic

“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.”

– Sheryl Sandberg.

“The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just, and peaceful life for all.”

– Aung San Suu Kyi

“Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a complex moral relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good.”

– Joanne Ciulla.

“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.”

– Dolly Parton.

“You can do anything you put your mind to. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it.”

-Brehanna Daniels