Only 12 percent of board seats globally are held by women. Only one in five C-Suite positions are held by women, and just one in 30 of those are held by women of color. And, perhaps the most shocking statistic – one in three young girls are afraid to lead. Statistics like these concern and motivate Nicole Huard to advocate for women in the workplace.
“Growing up and not seeing women in leadership roles can have a negative impact on you,” Huard says. “You need to see that vision of somebody like you being successful and achieving their dreams.”
Her role model? Mom
Huard’s role model has always been her mother. A chief financial officer of a vitamin company, Huard’s mother raised three children while working full-time and managing real estate properties on the side. She constantly told her children that with the proper education they could achieve everything a man could.
While it can sometimes be intimidating walking into predominantly male meetings, Huard is reminded of her mother’s guidance.
“I told myself that I am knowledgeable and respected in this industry for knowing who our customer is and what the data trends are,” Huard says. “By arming yourself with facts and knowledge, people respect who you are and what you bring to the table. In that sense, you’re no different from anyone else.”
Advocate for women in the workplace
These experiences ignited Huard’s passion for recruiting and developing women within the automotive industry. She is a founding member of the Women@Bosch business resource group in North America, which has more than 1,500 members. Women@Bosch helps promote gender diversity and inclusion while focusing on recruitment, retention and professional development of women at Bosch. The group aims to educate and empower all associates on current gender diversity issues in the workplace.
In addition, Huard was recently recognized with Women in Auto Care’s Auto Care Woman of Excellence award, one of the organization’s 2018 Women of the Year Awards recognizing outstanding female contributors making a difference in the automotive industry.