10 ‘Women with Drive’ to climb Kilimanjaro

10 ‘Women with Drive’ to climb Kilimanjaro as part of Cox Automotive challenge

Cox Automotive, the leading global vehicle service organisation, has been busy expanding its pioneering Women with Drive (WWD) initiative over the past 15 months, and now is pleased to announce that 10 brave members of its team will climb Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro in an empowering physical challenge next February.

WWD exists to support women in the automotive industry, where female team members are often greatly outnumbered by men. The past year and a half has seen five highly successful WWD events, featuring a host of inspiring speakers, including Nathalie McGloin, the UK’s first spinal cord-injured female Porsche racing car driver; Jo Salter, Britain’s first female Tornado fighter pilot; and Natalia Cohen, who was part of the six-woman ‘Coxless Crew’, which successfully rowed across the Pacific Ocean in 2015-16.

Women with Drive climbers

Early this year, members of the Cox Automotive team decided to take on the challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, in order to prove female strength and resilience within the industry and beyond. The trip is set to bring the entire workforce together, and spread the message of gender equality as everyone works to get the team to the top of Africa’s tallest mountain.

On July 5th, Cox Automotive employees of all genders came together for the fifth WWD event, where attendees participated in a ‘Resilience and Mental Toughness’ workshop, delivered by businesswoman and coach, Sue Jefferson. Attendees also heard from two motivational speakers: Maria Soklis, President of Cox Automotive Canada, who told her story of overcoming obstacles to reach the top, and Claire Lomas, MBE, who spoke about the life-changing accident that left her paralysed from the chest down. Claire has since completed a marathon, walked the Great North Run, and conquered extreme mental and physical barriers.

The day was the perfect opportunity to announce which team members would be given the chance to trek to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. Alison Fisher, Group HR Director at Cox Automotive, who has been instrumental in organising the WWD network, revealed the 10 selected women at the end of the day, naming a strong team of climbers who are now ready to take on the 19,341-foot ascent early next year.

Alison said: “I’m immensely proud of what we have achieved with Women with Drive so far – and we’re only going to go from strength to strength. As someone who’s passionate about helping women dream big and reach their goals, it’s amazing to see so much engagement and positivity from all genders. I’m excited to see what this team of 10 will achieve over the next few months, and I look forward to congratulating them as they return victorious from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.”

There were 33 applicants to be part of the team, and each one took part in a StrengthsFinder® exercise, in which they gained insights into their abilities, strengths and potential. Aneliese Platts, who has been chosen for the climb, said: “I’m lost for words to be included in such an amazing experience – I was shocked when Alison called my name, but now I’m excited to get started with training and fundraising. Bring on the challenge!”

Women with Drive is on the look-out for more ambitious automotive women to join the team and take on Kilimanjaro in spring 2018. If you’re interested in taking part, head to womenwithdrive.co.uk to find out more, and use the contact page to get in touch about taking on the challenge with Cox Automotive.