More than 100 female entrepreneurs and industry leaders were expected to attend a new networking event hosted by FCA US LLC, designed to link women business owners with the automaker’s top female leadership. The W2W Alliance Mixer is part of FCA’s 19th annual MatchMaker event, which provides more than 250 minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned businesses access to FCA US leaders, buyers, Tier 1 suppliers and leaders from advocacy and certifying organizations.
The “W2W Mixer,” took place yesterday at the FCA US headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, and featured women representing 85 different businesses ranging from a maker of high-quality lubricants to an award-winning marketing firm. Participants had the opportunity to pitch their businesses and ideas to a number of FCA executives.
“FCA US is committed to empowering women inside our company and to increasing the impact women-owned businesses have on our supply base,” said Barb Pilarski, head of human Rresources, FCA US LLC. “Opportunities to connect our women leaders with accomplished women business owners fuel the connections and build the momentum that will move the automotive industry forward.”
The event took place in a speed-networking format, giving attendees the opportunity to network with FCA women leaders from:
- Business development
- Dealer operations
Representatives from the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council (WBC), a nonprofit champion for women, minority and small-business owners, also were on-hand.
The Women’s Alliance, one of seven FCA business resource groups working to elevate inclusiveness, created the event as a way to build meaningful connections with the supplier community.
“To be invited by FCA to network and connect with other business owners in the automotive industry is a sign that our industry is pushing toward gender equity,” said Brittany Stovall, co-founder and CEO of Assured Quality Systems. “I applaud FCA for bringing us together to advocate for women-owned businesses.”
In 2017, FCA US spent $8.2 billion with approximately 300 minority-, women- and veteran-owned suppliers, representing more than 18 percent of the company’s total annual purchasing. Since 1983, the Company has purchased nearly $62 billion from diverse suppliers.