Cox Automotive Canada announced the creation of The Cox Automotive Canada Inclusion Award and The Cox Automotive Canada Diversity Award for eligible students at Georgian College’s Automotive Business School of Canada. Beginning this fall, Cox will donate $2,500 for each award to be given to two successful recipients who recognize an automotive industry opportunity to drive change or champion its transformation, and:
- for the Inclusion Award, self-identify as Black,
- for the Diversity Award, self-identify as female, Black and/or self-identify as being of Indigenous ancestry.
Both awards also recognize and support the efforts being made by Accelerate Auto, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing Black representation in the Canadian automotive industry.
“The globalized nature of the auto industry requires a diverse workforce that welcomes everyone, which is why we are proud to support Accelerate Auto’s vision with Georgian College’s help to champion students with inclusive values as future leaders,” said Maria Soklis, president, Cox Automotive Canada & Brazil. “Diversity and inclusiveness are not only pillars at Cox Automotive Canada but shape our business success by attracting and keeping the best talent. We are committed to promoting equal opportunity in the automotive sector.”
The announcement of the awards is also in commemoration of this year’s World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21. Championing inclusion, diversity and equity in the workplace contributed to Cox Automotive Canada being named one of Greater Toronto’s Top Employers for 2021. Cox is devoted to driving positive change through internal efforts like the organization’s Black Employee Network (BEN) and Women With Drive (WWD) employee resource groups, and by supporting and collaborating with groups like Accelerate Auto and the BlackNorth Initiative on inclusiveness.
“It’s rewarding to see highly-respected leaders like Maria Soklis, who lead progressive organization’s like Cox Automotive Canada embrace educational opportunities for Black students and other groups in the automotive industry,” said Jennifer Okoeguale, founding member of Accelerate Auto. “The Automotive Business School of Canada offers a range of programs that are an ideal launch pad for successful careers in automotive, and this is a fantastic opportunity.”
The awards will be presented to full-time Georgian College students in good academic standing enrolled in either the Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (Automotive Management) (Co-op) program or the Automotive Business (Co-op) program. Georgian College will manage the selection process while Cox Automotive Canada is presently committed to funding the awards for three years. As donor, Cox Automotive Canada is not involved in the selection of the award recipients.