FIRST THOUGHT: Fast Friends
“I’m not here to make friends,” said every reality TV person ever. Honestly, I’m kind of with them. You know how the first part of a relationship can be the best part, full of butterflies and racing hearts? Friendship is the opposite. (Can we just skip to the part where you know everything about me and I can tag you in memes?)
That’s why I’ve decided that every event I host in 2019 will have a theme. No, I’m not talking about Moulin Rouge or roaring 20s themes; I’m talking about a subject that begins unlikely conversations between old friends and new. I’ll present a question on the e-vite or group text, and guests automatically will have one thing in common with everyone. Maybe I’ll get deep with, “Is free will just an illusion?” or go with the casual, G-rated “Kiss, marry, kill.”
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 154 Percent
Some guests are natural conversation starters and those are the guests to invite to your shindig. They’ll mingle and mosey and make everyone feel at ease. Oftentimes, that guest is your dog. That’s a free tip right there: If you want a quick way to unite everyone, release the puppies! Salespeople also make for good guests, as they can walk up to both your great-granny and your nephew with coolness. Since 1978, women have been taking more sales roles: particularly in the car biz, where there’s been an increase of 154 percent of saleswomen.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Marcy Klevorn, Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Ford Motor Co.
The worst part of buying a car, IMO, is seeing the sleazy-looking dude straighten his tie and hustle his way across the parking lot to tell you about that once-a-year deal he has for you. Buying a car can be super intimidating, particularly because of said sleazy sales guy. How do we invite more women to the showroom floor? I’m not sure, but a woman sitting at the top of the car chain can’t hurt. That’s why it’s exciting to see Marcy Klevorn assume the position of Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Ford Motor Company.
Marcy starts her story by saying she came to Ford thinking she’d be there for a few years, and bam! It’s been three-plus decades since she started there. Back in 2008, a colleague said she is “one of the best managers” at the company, as she is someone who plans strategically and allows for flexibility on her teams.
When Marcy talks about her role, she considers it an honor to serve as a role model as the company’s first female CIO, noting the significance of On The Dot’s very own See it to Be it motto. Part of being a leader means doing what you say. So instead of just floating around vague messages to her workers that they should innovate or learn something new, Marcy sets aside half a day on Fridays for that very thing. Through collaboration, employees are able to take a step away from their daily tasks and be creative.
A crucial aspect of Marcy’s position is working on ways to innovate and increase mobility in our increasingly tech-focused world. In other words, she looks at how a vehicle might improve a person’s life. Beyond evolving certain technology within its vehicles, Ford has acquired an on-demand shuttle service and has invested in a bicycle-sharing service.
Urban areas are looking different now; not everyone has or wants a vehicle. It isn’t easy to be at a century-old company for years and years and not only accept this kind of cultural change, but also perpetuate it. Marcy is an example of someone who drives with her instincts instead of apprehension.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Nurse, birth control activist and educator Margaret Sanger said:
"Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression."