Advancing Women’s Automotive Knowledge Exchange, challenges and opportunities in 2016

March 8, 2016 (Ottawa, ON) – The Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA) is proud to celebrate International Women’s Day, a day recognizing the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The theme of this year’s celebration is gender parity and the Association and its members would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the struggles and successes of the women working in the industry.

In 2015, AIA launched the Advancing Women in Automotive Knowledge Exchange (AWAKE) project. Partially funded by Status of Women Canada, the three-year project aims to promote the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in the automotive aftermarket industry.

“While women have made gains in several sectors and professions where they have been underrepresented, they continue to have low representation in the skilled trades, technology and science-based professions,” explains France Daviault, Senior Director, Industry Relations. “Thanks to the project ambassadors and supporters like industry CEOs and other stakeholders, AWAKE is on track to help close this gap for women working in the sector.”

AIA’s partnership with St. Clair College to undertake a needs assessment – which included an industry survey and Canada-wide focus groups – was a first for the industry. The report – to be released in June 2016 - explores the current landscape for women working in the automotive aftermarket industry and identifies organizational policies and procedures that both positively and negatively impact them.

To mark #IWD2016, the Association is pleased to offer a snapshot of this report as an infographic (see below).

AWAKE #IWD2016“The AWAKE report is the first step in the right direction,” says Tony Canade, Chair of the AIA Board of Directors. “Leaders in our industry must pledge to take action as champions and ensure that we - the industry, the employer, the colleague - commit to removing barriers and change how women are viewed, treated and essentially under-utilized in the aftermarket industry.”

More information about AWAKE is available on AIA’s website, and online conversations on social media can be followed using #awakeAIA.

The full Needs Assessment Report will be released during the 2016 Women’s Leadership Conference June 15-16.


About the Automotive Aftermarket Sector
The automotive aftermarket sector in Canada is a $19.4 billion industry that employs more than 420,000 people in every community across the country. The automotive aftermarket sector is made up of companies that manufacture, distribute and install automotive replacement parts, accessories, tools, and equipment.

About AIA Canada
The Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada is the national trade association that brings together the entire automotive aftermarket supply and service chain. AIA’s mandate is to promote, educate and represent members in all areas that impact the growth and prosperity of the industry. To learn more, please visit

For more information, please contact Communications at:
180 Elgin Street, Suite 1400
Ottawa, ON K2P 2K3 1-800-808-2920, ext. 233

Thank you to our AWAKE Ambassadors!

AWAKE Ambassadors 1 AWAKE Ambassadors 2

In the news

Women still earning less money than men despite gains in education: study (The Globe and Mail)

The best—and worst—places to be a working woman (The Economist)

Women leaving criminal law practice in alarming numbers (CBC)