|The 2019 Gear-Up Girl event was a smashing success, drawing a record-setting crowd of 250-plus women, including many female students who participated in the SEMA Student Program.|
By SEMA Editors
SBN Builds on Past Successes With Launch of New Events
Following on the heels of successful events at the 2019 SEMA Show and elsewhere, the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) is geared up for another activity-filled year. Committed to expanding the network’s reach and providing more opportunities for engagement, education and career advancement, SBN has set its sights on a series of events targeted at both its traditional audience of professional industry women and female students to also embrace others within the SEMA community.
Focus on Community Building
Over the years, SBN has kicked off its women-centric program at the SEMA Show with its hallmark Gear-Up Girl networking event. The dynamic, women-only mixer is designed to connect female students with industry-leading women. Through networking, the program aims to inspire students to pursue careers in the automotive aftermarket.
To its credit, Gear-Up Girl has continued to grow, with more and more professional women and students participating every year. Case in point: The 2019 event was a smashing success, drawing a record-setting crowd of 250-plus women, including many female students who participated in the SEMA Student Program.
Not content to rest on past achievements, however, SBN earlier last year held two new off-site events: a Gear-Up Girl mixer at the NASCAR Institute in Mooresville, North Carolina, and a Meet Up during the Keystone Big Show in Dallas. The success of those community-building events has inspired an even broader outreach initiative.
“We held our first off-site Gear-Up Girl event at the NASCAR Institute in 2019, and we plan on adding more events in 2020 to join together students and industry leaders for networking and mentoring opportunities,” said SBN Chair Lana Chrisman. “In addition to doubling up on Gear-Up Girl events, we are adding Meet Ups like the one we held at the Keystone Big Show.”
Meeting Member Needs
|The SBN held a Gear-Up Girl mixer at the NASCAR Institute in Mooresville, North Carolina, which has inspired an even broader outreach initiative.|
SBN has also put other plans in motion, including a series of segmented, female-focused events. Each of them is targeted to a specific demographic, from entry-level employees and middle management to C-suite CEOs and business owners.
At the entry level, for instance, two regional Lunch-and-Learn events are slated to focus on skills development. The events will be held in conjunction with Universal Technical Institute.
The second leg of the SBN initiative is centered on middle management—both men and women. To help foster member engagement and career-advancing connections, middle-management employees will be invited to attend networking events, including the annual SBN reception in Las Vegas as well as Meet Ups at the Big Show
The third phase is focused solely on executive-level women—specifically, business owners and CEOs. While details have yet to be finalized, the plan is to present two high-content, SBN-hosted women–centric CEO retreats.
“We are very excited about 2020,” Chrisman said. “In addition to doubling up on Gear-Up Girl events, we are adding Meet Ups as well as Lunch-and-Learn events and women CEO retreats. Our goal for 2020 is to focus on meeting the needs of our members, from entry level to middle management and C-suite, as well as students exploring the automotive aftermarket as a career path.
“Our SheIsSEMA campaign is also doubling up this year, as we are now promoting the accomplishments of women in our industry biweekly rather than just monthly. We encourage all SEMA-member companies to participate and submit their female champions to be recognized by SBN for their passion and dedication to your company’s and our industry’s successes.”
Stay tuned for details on the upcoming slate of SBN events. The SheIsSEMA Spotlight application can be found online at www.sema.org/she-is-sema.