Do people of color have more leadership opportunities in automotive retail today?

Welcome back to Diversity in Automotive: Tier 1 spotlight edition, brought to you by TrueCar and CarNow. In today’s segment, host Cory Mosley is joined by an esteemed panel of automotive retail professionals including Gary Graves, CTO and founder of InteractiveTel, Michele D. Peterson, Sr. vice president of client partnerships at Ansira, and Eduardo Espinal, strategic sales director of the automotive group at ChargePoint.

Our three guests today, have somewhere between 50-60 years of experience combined in the automotive retail industry. They’ve each held a variety of different titles and positions, and have used their experiences to modernize the industry. When it comes to the marketplace today, Mosley asks our panel whether or not they’re seeing a shift in greater leadership opportunities for people of color.

Peterson begins by saying, “The recent resurgence in diversity, equity, and inclusion has had many companies, just in the last few months, really take pause and really look at how they are recruiting and retaining people of color.”

At Ansira, they’ve really taken a look at and reflected on the unique experience people of color have. Using that perspective, Ansira leadership has adjusted how the company recruits minorities including partnerships with HBCUs, conferences, and much more.

Espinal adds, “I do see in the overall industry, or in the overall customer base that I deal with, more awareness on this topic. We here collectively on this panel are an example of that. [I’m] proud to be at a leadership position, not only here at ChargePoint, but I see myself providing that opportunity to pave the way for my twins, my 16-year-olds.”

Other young people who may not see themselves in a leadership position, can look up to professionals like Espinal, Peterson, and Graves.

Graves weighs in saying, “From the perspective of a technical executive, I think there is more diversity than you may see in some of the other C-level positions across automotive. A lot of that speaks to the fact that most of us are oblivious to color. We’re more focused on the nuts and bolts of it.”

Graves makes an excellent point that the lack of African-Americans in technical positions might have more to with the fact that there is not a clear educative career path for them.

For more great insight from our panel, be sure to watch the entire show above. Don’t forget to join us next Thursday for another episode of Diversity in Automotive.

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