Why the automotive industry needs to continuing having productive conversations around diversity

Welcome back to Diversity in Automotive, brought to you by TrueCar and CarNow. In the finale episode of this amazing series, host Cory Mosley is joined once again by Kerri Wise, vice president of communications for TrueCar, and Jim Fitzpatrick, co-founder and CEO of CBT News. Today, our esteemed host and guests discuss what the series has accomplished over the past ten weeks in terms of bringing awareness to the minority experience in retail automotive. Our panelists have covered challenging topics and have had productive conversations that will continue to shed light on the importance of diversity, inclusiveness, and representation.

The segment begins with Fitzpatrick describing why he and his co-founder Bridget Fitzpatrick decided to start covering the civil unrest taking place in the United States after the brutal murder of George Floyd.

“We really looked at this when the entire Black Lives Matter, and the terrible situation with George Floyd took place, and the entire world saw what was taking place [in Minneapolis]. It opened up all of us to look inside of our businesses, our organizations, and associations right here in retail automotive, on the retail side and the OEM side… Could we be doing something better? Are we missing an opportunity? Are we doing right by everyone in the industry?”

From Wise’s perspective, she has always toed the line between keeping a pristine image for her corporate life and revealing her whole self and staying true to her values.

She says, “For me, I have worked in the industry for 22 years. It hasn’t been easy as a black woman, but I’ve built relationships; deep, authentic relationships with a lot of important people in automotive… It’s much easier to have difficult conversations when you have relationships, an affinity, and trust. I felt like I was in the best position, in some ways, to translate the black experience to the automotive industry.”

Wise then goes on to describe the amazing internal changes happening at TrueCar that are a result of the company’s dedication to creating a more diverse and inclusive environment. This is just the beginning of having these conversations in the retail automotive space. It’s imperative for the industry as a whole, that these conversations keep happening, and consistently get better.

For more great insight from Cory Mosley, Kerri Wise, and Jim Fitzpatrick, be sure to watch the entire show above.

Did you miss last week’s episode of Diversity in Automotive? Watch it here now! And don’t forget to share your questions and comments with Jim Fitzpatrick at jfitzpatrick@cbtnews.com.

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