This article is sponsored by A Girl’s Guide To Cars. Any opinions are my own.

While at the Chicago Auto Show recently, I had the honor of attending the 3rd annual What Drives Her Luncheon.

During this event, we got to hear from some amazing speakers on topics from how women are driving change in the automotive industry to the #SeeHer movement that is building change in how women are seen and perceived in media.

But the one thing that really stood out to me during this event was the discussion on balance. Balance between work, life, and career building.

We were lucky enough to hear from several amazing speakers, including Jennifer Newman of, Lauren Brandt from Facebook, Laurie King of Turtle Wax, Kerri Wise of TrueCar, Subi Ghosh of Stream Companies, and Kathy Gilbert of CDK Global.

These amazing women told us what it was like as they started out in their career journey, some while building families at the same time.

Jennifer Newman, editor in chief of, tells us that there is no magic answer here when it comes to building your career, building your life, and finding that balance between the two so conversations like these are important.

Understand Your Audience

Kerry Wise, vice president of industry education and relations at True Car, who also has two children and has been married for sixteen years, tells us that you have to understand who the majority is in your industry and adapt to their communication style so you can build a bridge and eventually be who you are.

She is not saying give up who you are, but if you want to succeed in a male dominated industry, sometimes you have to communicate in a way they will understand, which may not be your communication style.

Work Hard

The overarching theme from all the women on the panel is that you have to work hard and nothing is going to be handed to you.

Subi Gosh tells us that learning to speak someone else’s language was and is key in your career. Understand what someone else’s perception of results are so you know how to achieve and/or present them.

She goes on to say be authentic to yourself. Don’t let someone else’s idea of what is successful female is drive who you are.

Remember It’s Okay To Say No

It is important to remember that you still need to maintain a balance by remembering that it is okay to say no.

Men typically don’t have a problem delegating or saying no to tasks that they don’t feel are beneficial to them or that they need to do on their own, but women will often feel they need to strive for perfection until the point of burnout.

Kerri Wise, vice president, industry education and relations, TrueCar added, “There are a couple of things we need to think about. We need to check our guilt. In some ways, we want to be perfect at everything. Are we using our time efficiently? Are we working on projects that matter?” 

It’s okay to let go. It’s okay to say no if you already have too much on your plate.

Laurie King reminds us (anyone in a managerial role) to recognize that everyone you work with has a life outside of work. Whether that is family at home, or simply a personal life, you have to allow people to be successful and happy in their personal life to be successful in their professional life.

Subi, of Stream Companies, made a statement that really resonated with me. She says, “When it comes to championing yourself, we don’t communicate well. If you don’t do it well, find someone on your team that will help you do that.”

She goes on to tell us that championing herself a weakness of hers and she had a hard time opening up to her husband about it, but when she finally did it was a huge relief. She also recounts the time when she had to choose between a family wedding and a really important work event. In the end, she was finally able to let go and allow her team to handle it so she wouldn’t miss yet another family event. It all turned out fine and her team handled everything better than she would have done, according to Subi.

See The Full Conversation

See the full What Drives Her Luncheon panel of speakers by watching the videos below. Be sure to let us know what you think!

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