Over 60 people came together for our Women in Collision seminar and awards, sponsored by IAG on Friday 15 November in Brisbane. Thank you to everyone who contributed to a wonderful afternoon including the brave men from Repair Hub, Mark Czvitkovits from I-CAR and Troy Johns from IAG.
The whole industry was represented with women from AMA Group, Repair Hub, Fix Auto, Car Craft, many independents as well as a good showing from industry suppliers.
We started the event hearing from some of the delegates about their role and what they loved about the industry. The general consensus is that the huge variety is one of its most attractive traits and that no two days are the same.
Our first speaker was Jessica Collusso from MaxMyProfit business coaching company. She is an expert digital marketeer and gave a straightforward, gobbledygook-free presentation on why social media is so vital for business along with some brilliant tips on increasing engagement and what different ad campaigns can do in terms of lead generation or directing people to your website.
Author Loretta Smith gave a fascinating talk, with many amazing original photographs, about Alice Anderson who was a motoring pioneer and ran an all-female garage in the 1920s.
Women in Collision Awards
It was then time to announce the winners of our 2019 Women in Collision Awards. The judging panel is made up of the previous year’s winners. Here are this year’s winners and we will profile each of them in the first issue of 2020. Congratulations to our 2019 winners, we had so many great nominations that we could have spent all day giving out trophies.
Maxine Colligan, AMA Group
Alana Hines, Colour Worx, Forster
Admin/Customer Service/Parts Manager
Alexia Fragadakis Super Gloss Accident Repair Centre
Simone Irvine BF Panels
Clarissa Iacobucci DSI Panels
Megan Leishman Gold Coast Collision Centre
Industry Supplier Representative
Jasmine DeWys Parts Check
Gaby Rosenberg DingGo
Repair Hub culture
Veronica Jory gave an engaging and candid presentation about her industry journey and the importance of building the right business culture to attract women. Culture was a word used throughout the day and there appears to be growing awareness that a healthy business culture is vital to success in terms of attracting and retaining talent of either gender.
Suzi Finkelstein, director of leadership and advocacy at Women & Leadership reported some frankly depressing statistics about how Australia is actually going backwards in the number of women in leadership positions and how far we are behind other countries. She looked at some of the ‘blockers’ for women to reach leadership positions and explained the opportunity for women in the automotive sphere to apply for free scholarships.
Sandra Noach for Extreme Dents and iQ Bodygroup gave a moving talk about her journey to becoming a successful woman in automotive. She learned from her mother that being the underdog can often be an advantage as people don’t expect you to succeed. She outlined some failures encountered along the way that she and her husband, Jason, had learned from.
Christinne Quix from Ford combined personal insights with Ford technical talk and opened a lively debate on original parts and pre-and post diagnostic scans.
We finished by discussing what a Women in Collision (name to be decided) not for profit organisation could achieve to recruit and support women in this industry. We will now look into setting up this organisation up.
Thank you to IAG for its long term support of Women in Collision, thank you to our speakers and to everyone in the room who contributed to a great afternoon.