The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) has launched its annual campaign aimed at supporting, attracting, retaining, and advancing women within the collision repair industry.
WIN, which provides networking and connection opportunities for women in the space, is seeking “vital” sponsorship to help grow and diversify the available talent pool.
“Sponsors of WIN are industry leaders from every collision repair business segment who value the network’s mission of achieving industry sustainability through accessing the talent, skill, mindset, energy, and drive of women,” said Cheryl Boswell, former WIN chair and chief financial officer of DCR Systems. “Our sponsors have been a key factor in WIN’s growth and our ability to achieve the strategic initiatives to strengthen our network, resource our industry, and expand our capacity.”
In a conversation with Repairer Driven News, Boswell detailed how sponsorships, which are accepted year-round, help support both the volunteer-run WIN and emerging talent within the industry.
“We are involved in so many different areas,” Boswell said. “One area we have is scholarships for women that have enrolled in a collision repair program. We believe it’s important to help recruit women in this industry and support them in their journey.”
Scholarship recipients also receive free WIN membership, can be connected to a mentor, and are invited to participate in a virtual conference to help immerse them into the sector.
WIN also recognizes influential women within the collision repair space at its annual conference to both celebrate successful peers and inspire others.
Funding supports the development of WIN’s educational webinar series as well, Boswell said, noting that additional networking and development opportunities are provided by the nonprofit.
Boswell said her hope is that such efforts help draw more women into the industry by making them aware of opportunities at an earlier age before they head off to college.
“The other component is you not only have to get someone in this industry but you have to retain them and that is one of the core values of WIN,” Boswell said. “People need to see the faces of women and say, ‘OK, I won’t be the only person in this industry. I see other women in the industry, this can be a viable option for me.’ And then, once you’re attracting them, you’ve got to retain them and that means supporting them.”
Supporters of WIN are rewarded for their contributions, depending on the level of their sponsorship. Benefits can include:
- Complimentary one-year memberships;
- Annual education conference passes;
- Event, website, and social media platform recognition; and
- WIN new member orientation kits.
Jessica Rob, sponsorship chair for WIN and distribution program manager at AkzoNobel Coatings Inc., said WIN’s support has helped it host a number of events and learning opportunities, including educational conferences and webinars.
Hannah Whitesides, senior vice president of marketing for Driven Brands Paint, Collision and Glass said her company’s sponsorship of the network has helped it gain partnerships by forming a network encompassing insurers, suppliers, and people it does business with daily.
“It’s now creating this network of incredible women — incredible leaders — that has benefitted us by expanding our footprint in the industry, deepening our relationships and our partnerships overall,” added Whitesides, who is also a WIN board member.
Those looking to learn more about the WIN sponsorship program can do so online or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image courtesy of tdub_video/iStock