Travel consideration provided by Ford. #FurtherWithFord

The Female Frontier

Sheryl Connelly, Global Trends & Futuring Expert at Ford Motor Company

The culmination of the 2014 Go Further with Ford Trends Conference was a series of back-to-back trend panels exploring issues that influence and impact the auto business. Of particular interest to me was the Female Frontier session, which included talks from women in key roles at Ford as well as leading female professionals in other fields. They came together for a Q&A discussing the role of female automobile consumers as well as the career challenges and social pressures that women in business face.

Chantel Lenard

Chantel Lenard, Director of U.S. Marketing at Ford Motor Company

We first heard from Chantel Lenard, Director of U.S. Marketing at Ford Motor Company, who discussed the importance of understanding and catering to female car buyers. Research done by Ford found that there are 53% more female Millenials buying cars than their male counterparts, demanding a change in traditional male-centric marketing tactics. During Lenard’s talk, she discussed some of the research being done which found that 75% of female car buyers feel misunderstood by car companies. Not really surprising, is it? This conversation continued with John Gerzema, a New York Times best-selling author who is an expert in using data to help companies adapt to a changing world.

Jenna Wolfe

Jenna Wolfe – news correspondent, NBC Today

Also changing in this world is the role of women in business. We were treated to a funny and engaging talk from Jenna Wolfe, new correspondent for NBC Today, who spoke about the challenges she faced in her early career as a woman in the male-dominated sportscasting world.

Jennifer Senior

Jennifer Senior, contributing editor at New York Magazine

Jennifer Senior, author of All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood, discussed the fine balancing act between her home life and career as a contributing editor at New York Magazine. As was so succinctly put during the Q&A: Modern stress is feeling the pressure to bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan, and then use the grease to make artisanal candles. 😉 Addressing work-life balance is an important topic for everyone, and hits women particularly hard; so this is a very important conversation to continue having.

Female Frontier Q&A panel

Female Frontier Q&A panel

Female Frontier speakers

Left to right: Jenna Wolfe, Chantel Lenard, John Gerzema, Jennifer Senior

Read more about the 2014 Go Further with Ford Trends Conference