The United States has one of the largest automotive markets in the world and is home to 13 auto manufacturers. The automotive industry is one of the world’s most important economic sectors by revenue. However, when it comes to diversity and inclusion, the auto industry has a long way to go to achieve a diverse and inclusive work environment at all levels of the organizational structure; from dealerships to the C-suite to suppliers to employees.
“The auto manufacturers have maintained a one-sided relationship with minorities, viewing us as consumers rather than business partners. It is time for the auto manufacturers to shift gears and present benchmarked growth opportunities to all people of color,” according to Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., president and founder, Rainbow PUSH Coalition. “Minority companies need a short-term plan for survival and long-term critical path to success with measurable goals, targets, and timetables. Many of our award-winning minority companies are at an economic crossroad that is hinged on a plan for growth. There is not a talent deficit among minority companies; there is an access and commitment deficit from auto manufacturers. It is time to shift the paradigm and hold the auto industry accountable.”
The Rainbow PUSH Automotive Project, an initiative of the Citizenship Education Fund, will hold its 16th Annual Rainbow PUSH Global Automotive Summit Friday, October 9, 2015, at the MGM Grand Detroit Meeting and Events Center Detroit, Michigan. The theme this year is “Shifting Into High Gear: Commitment, Access and Accountability.” Over 500 automotive executives, entrepreneurs, suppliers, dealers, consumers, government and elected officials, automotive manufacturers, tech companies, advertising agencies, media outlets, and others will join together to discuss strengthening and creating opportunities in the automotive industry for people of color.
The Summit, in its sixteenthÂ year, focuses on inclusion for ethnic minorities in the areas of supplier diversity, human resources, advertising and marketing, technology, professional services, and dealers. It is the only national conference that focuses on the automotive industry for ethnic minorities. Automotive CEO’s and vice presidents, as well as business owners and consumers, have the opportunity to discuss business issues that are relevant to the ethnic majority. “People of color represent money, market, talent, and location. Inclusion is the key to growth, and when there is growth everybody wins,” notes Jackson.
National sponsors for the Summit are: Ford, General Motors, and Toyota. For more information, visit www.automotiveproject.org.