The 2nd annual Women@SIMI was hosted by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry today Friday 12thJune along with the event sponsor Bank of Ireland Finance in the Westbury Hotel Dublin 2.
Following on from its inaugural success Women@SIMI had an even bigger attendance this year and is now a signiﬁcant date in the Motor Industry calendar. Providing an opportunity for female professionals from all sectors within the Industry to meet with others in similar roles, network and share their experiences in an otherwise traditional male dominated environment.
Women@SIMI provides the formal recognition of the dynamic role played by women right across the country in driving our Industry forward. The event proved to be a great success with over 150 professional women in attendance from a variety of counties and different sectors such as the Heavy Goods Vehicles, Vehicle Body Repairers, Franchise sales, Distributors etc.
Mark Boggan President of SIMI opened proceeding stating “Our Industry has a big challenge to encourage more and more female employees to seek out a career be it a Technician, Sales Professional, Dealer Principal etc away from the stereotypical roles.” He acknowledged that those in attendance have an important part to play “as role models for others leading the way in the Industry making advancement and demonstrating the opportunities available and the success that can be achieved”.
Rowena Dooley, Dealer Principal of Dooley Motors, Member of the SIMI Management Board and SIMI Treasurer delivered a key note address which reinforced Mark Boggan’s call “for more initiatives to be put in place to attract, train and retain women personnel with the Industry”. Rowena commented that the Industry itself a duty to better understand the needs of its female customers when it comes to their requirements be it buying or servicing their cars so that the process was less intimidating. She underlined that the Industry should tap into economic potential of the female market and to make greater use of their female employee’s skillsets. Roweena stated that “A shift in the Industry mind-set has been happening but it is up to us all, to make sure it continues at speed and that we pave the way for our present and future female colleagues”.
Women@SIMI delivered a very impressive panel of speakers, all sharing their inspirational stories with Mary Kennedy Master of Ceremonies who interviewed Mary O'Rourke Former Government Minister and Gráinne Cronin Former Aer Lingus Pilot. Business speaker Louise Phelan PayPal VP Global Operations EMEA shared her own experiences and challenges.
Pat Creed CEO of Bank of Ireland Finance, Sponsors of Women@SIMI, commented “Bank of Ireland Finance are delighted to sponsor this event for the second year running, recognising the role that Women play in the Irish Motor Industry and across the wider economy. The line-up of speakers at today’s event is outstanding and it recognises the individual successes and contribution that each of these women have had within their respective areas of expertise.
Bank of Ireland Finance is the leading provider of both wholesale and retail funding to the Irish Motor Industry and supports in excess of 50% of the total industry in Ireland and we have been doing this through both good and challenging economic times”.