On Dec. 5, the Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation (AWAF) hosted its 2019 Holiday Affair at Art Leaders Gallery in West Bloomfield, MI.
In addition to including AWAF’s First Annual Awards Ceremony, the evening featured special guest speaker Christine Sitek, executive director of global purchasing & supply chain at General Motors. According to AWAF Board Member Axel Cooley, “The event was well attended; in fact, it was sold out! Christine shared great insights and pearls of wisdom with the audience at AWAF’s Holiday Affair. First, she discussed the importance of balance in life and the importance of taking time to relax, and then she was asked to share some highlights on how she arrived at where she is today. She also offered advice for career advancement.”
Sitek has been at GM for the entirety of her 31-year career. She shared, “It has been an incredible ride. There is no real secret to success – it is simple: work hard and take on challenging assignments. This seems basic, but in big corporations where there are politics, it may be about who you know, but for me, it was always more about who knew me instead.”
Developing a reputation as a hard worker, Sitek was frequently pulled into tough assignments, and if she could offer her younger self a suggestion, she would have told herself to take on even more challenging assignments. “This truly pays off,” she said. “It’s important to build your own brand.”
When attendees asked for career advice, Sitek offered, “Women should and need to self-advocate more. In general, this tends to be a hard thing for women to do. Research says that women are bad at self-promotion. In fact, if men and women are given the same self-assessment and asked to rate themselves from one to 100 on how well they did on the test, women rate themselves 46 on average, whereas men rate themselves 66. This highlights our inability to self-promote.”