SAE International Hosts Women’s Automotive Innovation Breakfast Panel at WCX World Congress Experience

SAE International convened a panel of leading female executives and innovators to discuss how women are helping to lead change and shape the future of the global automotive engineering industry.

“Women Leading Disruptive Innovation” was held on Thursday (4/12) morning, and featured a panel of six women offering opinions and insights on the new players, markets and technologies that are disrupting the status quo faster than ever before. In addition, the group discussed challenges and opportunities they face in making the cultural transformation needed for organizations to successfully handle complexity, uncertainty, and volatility in industry today to take advantage of the incredible new opportunities that disruption is creating.

Carla Bailo, President and CEO of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) and Vice President Automotive for SAE International, moderated the discussion.

“We’re hear today to hear about the importance of women’s roles in business in driving innovation and leading innovation,” Bailo said.

Panel member included:

  • Mary Gustanski, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Delphi Technologies
  • Jane Nakagawa, Division Director, Advanced Product Planning, Honda R&D Americas, Inc.
  • Rashmi Rao, Global Head, Advanced Displays and User Experience, Harman/Samsung
  • Christine Sitek, Chief Operating Officer, Global Connected Customer Experience, General Motors
  • Kristen Tabar, Vice President of Corporate Quality, Toyota Motor North America
  • Tara Vatcher, Director of Powertrain Software, FCA US LLC

Bailo asked the group several questions, including how leaders manage disruption within organizations and drive culture change for automakers to drive innovation.

”We need a culture to drive test and learn,” Christine Sitek of General Motors said. “A culture where people feel comfortable to try, fail fast and then iterate again, again and again. This is helping us transform what we do. Letting people know that’s okay – something didn’t work; let’s shift and do something else.”

To learn more about WCX World Congress Experience, visit

SAE International is a global association committed to being the ultimate knowledge source for the engineering profession. By uniting over 127,000 engineers and technical experts, we drive knowledge and expertise across a broad spectrum of industries. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our charitable arm, the SAE Foundation, which helps fund programs like A World in Motion and the Collegiate Design Series.


- -

Continue reading »