Gazdik with the Kia Niro, this year's Women's World Car of the Year overall winner.
Like most industries, automakers love awards.
Whether it’s from J.D. Power, WardsAuto, MotorTrend or MediaPost, there are plenty of beautiful trophies to go around.
Today, I feel like I’ve been given my own medal of honor.
An announcement went out earlier today that I am joining the Women’s World Car of the Year jury, the only automotive awards group in the world composed exclusively of women motoring journalists.
The awards aim to recognize the best cars of the year, with criteria based on the same principles that guide any driver when choosing a car.
The jurors do not select a “woman’s car” because cars are not gender-specific. Aspects such as safety, quality, price, design, ease of driving and environmental footprint, among others, are considered when casting the votes.
With my appointment, WWCOTY numbers 71 judges from 49 countries. It was created by New Zealand automotive journalist Sandy Myhre in 2009.
The WWCOTY winner is announced each year on International Women’s Day. This year’s overall winner is the Kia Niro.
The journalists initially picked the best vehicle in six categories. The Niro was competing against the Audi RS3, Citroen C5 X, Ford Ranger, Jeep Avenger and Nissan X-Trail.
Beyond choosing the best cars of the year, the goal is also to give visibility to women in the automotive world and to contribute to making women’s voices heard on all continents because mobility for a woman means access to many personal and professional possibilities.
Today, women influence more than 80% of car purchases in advanced countries, says Marta García, executive president of WWCOTY.
“This will continue or grow in the coming years because the percentage of young women university students is increasing in developed areas,” she says. “Wage parity is starting to become an achievable goal, boards of directors are no longer exclusively male and in the lists of the richest people in the world it is not unusual to see more and more women’s names. A future of sustainable mobility and equality would not be possible without the contribution of women.”
It’s a fascinating time to be involved in any aspect of the auto industry. Technology and electrification are resulting in vehicles previous generations could only dream of driving.
I’m excited to see what’s around the corner and to do it alongside my esteemed fellow jurors.