•Developing Strengths, Diversity, and Inclusion for Stronger & More Successful Teams•
We are networking with Rose Castillo from Hyundai Motor North America HQ Administrative Assistant & Vice Chair of Programs for the Women@Hyundai Employee Resource Group in this special episode, taped at The Women in Automotive Conference in Orlando.
We were honored to be invited by WIA and take our podcast on the road. They asked us to feature some of the special women, like Rose, and other like-minded professionals who are striving to be their personal best and move their industry forward.
Rose explains a fascinating corporate-backed program that encourages employees to form groups that build empowerment & camaraderie amongst the teams. We’ll hear about her efforts to oversee, guide & support the Women@Hyundai Employee Resource Group’s (ERG); and you’ll understand why this is perfect for Rose, who enjoys working with diverse people and learning how to enhance the experience of employees and managers to make an optimal working environment for the organization as a whole.
Rose also supports the General Manager of the Eastern Regional office; act as Regional liaison for Human Resources all while working on her MBA with an emphasis in Strategic Human Resource Management.
Rose Castillo, Hyundai Motor North America HQ Administrative Assistant & Vice Chair of Programs for the Women@Hyundai Employee Resource Group
Lessons you will learn from this podcast:
- How consumer culture is changing the game and how brands can catch up
- The next BIG IDEA at Hyundai from “the shark tank” of ideas
- Four easy points for staying focused, sane and on task
- How collaboration can keep people engaged
- How MEN are advocating for WOMEN in the corporate world
- Using the power in numbers to market to women
- Community outreach, achieving goals with communication and education
- Bi-coastal group communication and overcoming challenges with technology
- Servant leadership examples of working together on shared success
- If you don’t find it in your company how to start it yourself
- Developing strengths, diversity, and inclusion at work
>> Kathy Cunningham: Hi, everybody. It’s Kathy, and today is a special episode. We’re coming to you from Orlando, Florida and the Women in Automotive conference. We were honored to be invited to bring the Show Runner Marketing podcast to Orlando. They asked us to feature some of the women that attend the conference. And I’m excited for you to learn from our experience and from these fabulous women. It was not only an educational and inspirational weekend, but an amazing place to network and meet like-minded professionals who are striving to be their personal best, and move the automotive industry forward as it relates to the most influential segment of the market, women. We are networking with Rose Castillo. She’s from Hyundai Motor North America headquarters. She’s the Administrative Assistant and Vice Chair of programs for the Women at Hyundai Employee Research Group. We’ve slipped away from the opening activities of the conference to talk to Rose about her efforts to oversee, guide, and support the Women at Hyundai Employee Research Group. She calls it the ERG. She helps with the planning and coordination of the company-wide ERG events. Rose manages the event logistics, calendar, budget, as well as represents and leads when the chair is unavailable. This is perfect for Rose, because she really enjoys working with diverse people, and learning how to enhance the experience of employees and managers to make the optimal work environment for the organization as a whole. She also provides administrative support to the general manager at the eastern regional office. She acts as regional liaison for human resources, all while working on her master’s degree. And she finds the time to take an active leadership role in the mentoring and training of department specialists and other junior professionals. So without further ado, here’s our interview with Rose. Hi, everybody, it’s Kathy. And we’re here today with Rose Castillo. Welcome to the Show Runner Marketing podcast.
>> Rose Castillo: Thank you for having me.
>> Kathy Cunningham: We’re here in Orlando, Florida, for the Women in Automotive Conference. And I’m so excited to have you as a guest.
>> Rose Castillo: Same here [LAUGH].
>> Kathy Cunningham: Okay, great, let’s get started. I gave a little bit of an introduction in the beginning. But let’s hear more about your professional journey and your background in business and marketing, and your journey to Hyundai.
>> Rose Castillo: Well, my journey is definitely beginning. I’ve started here at Hyundai as an office manager, and I am the Vice Chair of programs for our Women at Hyundai ERG. So between that and working on my MBA, I feel like I’m just at the beginning of my whole journey. So I’m really excited to learn and grow with this company. And they’ve really offered me a lot to develop my skills.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Well, that’s fantastic. Tell us about what Hyundai is doing with women.
>> Rose Castillo: Well, we have our diversity and inclusion and CSR, which is our Corporate Social Responsibility department, that have developed ERGs, which are Employee Resource Groups.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Ah, that’s what that means.
>> Rose Castillo: Yes. [LAUGH] So they’re just employee led, volunteer groups that are based on different diverse topics. So it would be their gender, or race, or sexual preference orientation, or people with disabilities, or have families with that. So even military service, we have a large array of groups where people can focus their interest, and then decide on how they wanna contribute towards these causes within the company.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Wow, that’s crazy. So they can choose whichever one they want, or to choose to be involved or not as well.
>> Rose Castillo: Yes, yes, that’s correct.
>> Kathy Cunningham: And so which one do you head up?
>> Rose Castillo: I am at Women at Hyundai, it’s a female-based group. Right now we have over 100 members, so we’re extremely excited about that. Which is about, I wanna say about 14% of the employee base is in our ERG.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Wow.
>> Rose Castillo: Yeah, so we’re excited about that. We have our regional employees that are in this group and we have national employees. And 16 of those members are male members, so we’re also excited about that.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Really?
>> Rose Castillo: Yeah.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Now, tell me why they are interested in being part of this group. What sort of role do they play?
>> Rose Castillo: Well, it’s not just about women focus. It’s about being advocates for women in the workplace. So these are men that are interested in finding ways to help put our women in the position of leadership, and help them grow and develop their skills, and supporting our cause. Cuz everybody has a link to a woman in their life, whether it’s their daughter, their spouse, their mother, or something like that. So this group just wants to see people grow. And we also do things for all employees. So it’s not so gender focused, but it’s something about just developing and growing within the company.
>> Kathy Cunningham: That’s so great to hear that there’s men involved in this. Cuz we really do need the male advocates as well, don’t we?
>> Rose Castillo: Yes, yes, we do. We can’t do it all, [LAUGH] it needs to be a joint effort. And we have really great men that are supporting us, so we’re excited about that.
>> Kathy Cunningham: That’s great.
>> Rose Castillo: Mm-hm.
>> Kathy Cunningham: So we’re here at Women in Automotive in Orlando. How does an organization like Women in Automotive change the culture, and the expectation and the aspiration of the automotive industry?
>> Rose Castillo: Well, it’s definitely changed a lot, the automotive industry, in the past 20, 30 years. So based on the first time I came to this conference, it’s a few ladies in the office, and we think we’re one of the only few in the automotive industry. So now you enter a conference where you’re seeing over 200 women that are in the automotive industry all over the country. So it’s exciting to see that so many women are involved. And then talking to women that’ve been in the industry for so long to say, this is amazing to have an opportunity to network with these women, share the stories, share our struggles, give advice, it’s great to see. And we’re seeing how the marketing trends, and shoppers and things like that are gearing more towards women. So they’re acknowledging that we need to listen to these women. We need to use the skills and talents that they have in order to continue reaching to our customers. So it’s great to see that the automotive industry is taking that shift. Then we have conferences like this where we can empower each other.
>> Kathy Cunningham: It really is amazing when you come to a conference like this and you see how many women there really are in automotive.
>> Rose Castillo: Yes, yes, it certainly is.
>> Kathy Cunningham: I remember the first time I came, I said, I had no idea there was this many women in automotive.
>> Rose Castillo: [LAUGH] I know, and they’re from everywhere. It’s great, it’s really great to see.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Now, how is Hyundai including women in their marketing message?
>> Rose Castillo: Well, we definitely are making sure that we’re incorporating as many women as we can in everything that we do. And with ERGs like this, we have other departments that are networking with us. And they can come into us and say, hey, we’re looking at this project. What’s your thought, what’s your feedback? So for example, our ERG gives us a good platform to give that feedback to our executives, in ideas that they may be thinking in regards to the company and what direction they’re going for. So we’re definitely a good voice for the women within the company.
>> Kathy Cunningham: And what do you think Hyundai’s hoping to accomplish with regards to some of this inclusion, while they’re here at this conference?
>> Rose Castillo: I think On the news that women are definitely strong in the workforce and we’re doing a lot of things. So I think they’re finding ways to build the women that we have in the company and also it gives us an opportunity to connect with each other. So we have our regional offices and national. So for example, today we have members from all our regions that are attending. And these are people we’ve talked to for years but never seen in-person. So this also allows us time to connect together within the company and also outside of the company.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Oh, that makes a lot of sense.
>> Rose Castillo: Mm-hm.
>> Kathy Cunningham: That’s great, did I hear you say that you had some people from Canada?
>> Rose Castillo: Yes, yes we did [LAUGH].
>> Kathy Cunningham: You probably never met them before.
>> Rose Castillo: No, no, we actually have HRM from Canada that’s coming, and she’s actually starting an employee research group over there. So this is a great opportunity for her to network with us cuz she’s looking to get ideas on how to run her ERG over there. So we’re definitely collaborating with them. They’ve seen what we’ve done, they like what we do, so they’re excited to incorporate that in their corporation out there.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Oh, that’s great. It’s a great place to get together and network. How do you see this trickling down to the dealer level?
>> Rose Castillo: Well our ERG is always active not just in the company but we like to do a lot of work in the community. And I know that we are definitely trying to shift the focus and creating a more cohesiveness with our dealers and the company, cuz we all have to work together in order to reach the ultimate goal. So we are starting to use our employee resource group as a platform to bridge that gap between dealers and the company itself. So we do, for example, this year we’re actually incorporating our dealers in our yearly backpack event that we do. So we’ve been doing it for the past four years. We donate backpacks to underprivileged communities. Our region alone has donated over 400 backpacks within this time frame. And now we’re getting dealers involved and they’re really excited to do so. And this is showing, they’ve been wanting something to connect with the Hyundai brand, not just along with our Hyundai coupon wheels, but something where they can give to the community but also feel like they’re doing it with us. So this is an opportunity where we’re allowing them to pick where they wanna donate to, find a community they wanna reach out to, and then we’re here to support them and show them how we’re doing it and we’re doing it at the same time. So little things like that, involving our dealers. In August of last year we had an event called ask the experts. So we got two female dealer principles to come into our national office and just give their story. So they were so excited that our national office is looking at them to say, hey, we wanna hear your story. We’re excited about what you’ve done, we wanna know more about you and we wanna learn from you. It’s not just you learning from us. So that was another area where we reached out to them and kinda connected with them. And it was a dealer in Pennsylvania and Florida and they came over and shared their story and it was a great experience. We got amazing feedback from employees and the two dealers that came in had a wonderful experience and looking forward to doing it again.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Wow, what a great example. That’s really fantastic. So it sounds like the communication in the education goes both ways.
>> Rose Castillo: Yeah.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Between Hyundai and their dealers.
>> Rose Castillo: Mm-hm.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Yes, and so you’re sharing with them some of the things about helping them get out into the community and pick the kinds of things that they wanna be involved in, but you’re there to support that. And then on the other hand you bring them into your office and things like the female principals sharing their stories. I mean, that’s gonna be fantastic.
>> Rose Castillo: Oh yeah, the two dealers that came in came from very different backgrounds. So one, she came from an immigrant family, from Cuba, and shared her story of how she worked her way into working at a dealership and now is a dealer principal at a very top performing dealer area.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Uh-huh.
>> Rose Castillo: And the other one also started as, I wanna say like a sales representative in a dealership and worked her way up. So these are women that have been in the industry for a long time, have really worked hard to get where they’re at. So it was just very inspiring to hear their stories.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Oh my gosh, that is great. That’s a great story, thank you for sharing that.
>> Rose Castillo: No problem.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Fantastic, So Rose, what do you think the most significant challenge that you and your team are addressing regarding this kind of training and this employee experience in this inclusion? And what advice do you have for our listeners?
>> Rose Castillo: I think a challenge we face is just making sure everybody stays engaged. So we’ve had a significant spike in the number of members within our ERG and we wanna make sure that we keep them engaged and captured in the employee research groups. So I think that’s the biggest obstacle we face. It’s, how do we fill everyone’s needs on what they’re looking to get out of the ERG? Because it offers so much that people go for different things. Some want the camaraderie unit, others want to develop their skills, others wanna do community work. So it’s finding that middle ground where everyone is satisfied is I think the biggest challenge right now. But I think the way we’re overcoming it is really just listening. We do surveys, we have planning committees, we have a lot of feedback. So it’s not just the chairs within the ERG that are making these decisions, it’s really a group effort. So we’re always listening to everybody and I think we’ve fostered an environment where everybody feels like this is a joint effort, and that collaboration keeps people engaged. So I think that’s how we’re tackling that obstacle.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Just keeping them engaged. And it’s interesting because you said that everybody has sort of a different reason why they wanna be involved in these employee research groups. And how about management and Hyundai? How far up to the top does this go or how involved are they in these groups?
>> Rose Castillo: Well it’s open to anyone and everyone. So they can go as high as [LAUGH] they’d like for it to go. We definitely have an executive sponsor. I believe he’s in our legal department. He is very actively involved in our ERG. He’s not just, hey, you’re assigned to this ERG. He attends our meetings, he gives feedback, he challenges us and pushes us to do more. So at the end of every year, he will make sure he’s at that meeting and tells us, okay, what’s next? What are we doing? How are we tackling this issue? How can we get this many women in this position by this time frame? So they know that this is a strong ERG. This is one of the biggest ERGs in the company. They understand the power in our number. So they’re invested in it. And I think our executives are definitely seeing how much we’re doing within the company and they’re supporting us and finding ways to continue to help us in achieving our goals.
>> Kathy Cunningham: How often do you meet?
>> Rose Castillo: It changes every year [LAUGH]. Like I said, we’ve been trying to find a middle ground
>> Kathy Cunningham: Okay [LAUGH].
>> Rose Castillo: And see, okay guys, we used to meet monthly and we asked the group, because the ways automotive is there’s months where it’s super busy and then we get little lows and things like that. So this year we’ve tried to do every quarter in our meeting. But our planning committee groups meet about every other month, because we’re planning events, breaking up tasks and things like that. So we meet a little more often.
>> Kathy Cunningham: So the surveys are one of the ways that you are working on the engagement of the people in the group. Anything interesting that you learned from the surveys that you’re using?
>> Rose Castillo: We definitely learned that the people are not afraid to speak their mind. So people love it, but they’ve given us honest feedback saying, hey, I wanna do more on this topic, or I want you guys to focus more, or I don’t think the approach on this event was right, maybe you should take another approach. So, we definitely have members that are very vocal, and are definitely concerned with our ERG and wanna see it grow ,and see it better, and so they understand that their feedback is important. So I think that has been really good, we’ve been hearing a lot of opinions, and we’ve been making sure that they know we’re hearing them. And we’re doing what they’re saying, or we’re looking into the suggestions that they made for us.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Feedback is super important. It’s so important to get real good, critical, honest feedback, and it’s also really important that you’re hearing it and you’re using it as well.
>> Rose Castillo: Right.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Let’s talk a little bit about social media. Communication is rapidly changing, and do you have a favorite marketing or communication innovation that you guys are using? And maybe you’d like to share that with us.
>> Rose Castillo: So, we definitely know everyone’s always on their phone, doing something with social media, and so we try to incorporate our ERG, have a LinkedIn account. We have an Instagram account where we share stories. We do little competitions in our events, so we had, in our SCX Expert Series we did a training on our handy products. So we had car demonstrations with the new self parking features, also how to use Blue Link and things like that. And during the whole workshop, we were saying, hey, if you post on social media you enter in a contest, you’ll win a raffle prize. So, we would feed off of that. They could use LinkedIn, they use Instagram, I don’t think we did Twitter. The value we kept with that. And then we also used, in regards to communication, WebEx, which is great for us, because then we are able to do meetings in a video format.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Sure.
>> Rose Castillo: So it gives us that face to face feeling, instead of just getting in on a call, or just shooting a few emails. Even though we do all that as well, we try to utilize as much technology as we can to stay connected.
>> Kathy Cunningham: So with your employee research groups, that not everybody’s in the same office that’s participating in the group?
>> Rose Castillo: Yes, Baikal’s sole group. [LAUGH] So, Tiffany is in California, I’m in New Jersey, so we are different time zones, [LAUGH] constantly communicating via email, text, phone call, WebEx, something like that. And then we have offices in Dallas, we have offices in Illinois, we have offices in Georgia, so when we do our meetings it’s, let’s find a timeframe that works and we all get together. So, we rely heavily on technology to make sure we’re connected all the time.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Yeah, sounds good. Let’s talk a little bit about your personal brand. I’d like to ask this question, can you describe for us what your leadership philosophy is, and sort of your personal brand?
>> Rose Castillo: Sure, in my studies we are focusing a lot on servant leadership, and that’s something that’s really hit close to home, and I’ve been able to connect with it and relate to it a lot. So the philosophy with servant leadership is to serve others, instead of using that pyramid style of leadership where the manager just delegates. The process with that is to help those around you grow, and with their successes, your success. So that’s definitely a model that I use, and I think we’ve seen it extremely effective in our ERG. It’s a collaborative effort, it’s not just one person, and so that’s a philosophy that I follow a lot. And it was interesting, one of our dealers also uses that model as well, sounds like. Oh, this is great. So you can see the lengths of it, but it’s, not too many people know too much about it, but it’s really interesting once you look into it.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Yes.
>> Rose Castillo: Servant leadership, yeah, we have a book on servant leadership that we were reading.
>> Kathy Cunningham: So that’s a very unique philosophy, and so, how does that work for your team? Do you have any examples of, maybe how that works for you?
>> Rose Castillo: I think it’s helped. So, I was one of the first regional ERG members that joined women at Hyundai. So, everyone was in California, and then I was in New Jersey, and I’m like, how can I connect, feel like I’m a part of this ERG when we have events and things like that? So then I was able to bring in the women that are in my region to help with events, and so we started with the backpacks, and then we would do donations to local shelters, or our community had a community baby shower where you donated to the town, and we did that. We did Healthy Kids Day at the YMCA. So I was able to get all these other women involved. We contributed to the community, and then it got the attention of national, because they’re like, wow, you guys are amazing, you’re doing more than us over here. We like that, and then, because of that style, we were able to develop the skills of the women in our offices that don’t normally have that opportunity. And then from there, when Tiffany became the chair, she saw the influence that we had as a region, and then added two additional chairs that were the regional positions. So myself and Britney, which is also in the Eastern Region, are vice chairs of our ERG, so we were able to bring that element to the employee research group, because I feel of that certain leadership style. Because it wasn’t just me that did it, it was our group, and everything that we did together, which means all are great, and shine, and developed those skills.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Wow, that’s a really great example of servant leadership, so thank you for being specific about that, cuz I think it’s so interesting. And it really sounds to me, it’s about really using your position and your resources to lift the team up.
>> Rose Castillo: Yes.
>> Kathy Cunningham: And really to show from example to the rest of the people on your team how to do that, like you said, and give them a chance to do it.
>> Rose Castillo: Yes, yeah. It’s great, and just to see the influence that that has, all other regions have seen what we’ve done and they’re like, hey, we wanna do this too, what did you guys do for that? So it’s definitely a contagious culture. [LAUGH]
>> Kathy Cunningham: Yes, yes, that’s another good book. [LAUGH] Contagious Culture, maybe I haven’t read that, you should read that.
>> Rose Castillo: [LAUGH]
>> Kathy Cunningham: And Hyundai seems like the kind of company that’s really open to those sort of programs.
>> Rose Castillo: Yes.
>> Kathy Cunningham: They seem to really be backing you, and to be promoting that style of leadership and management.
>> Rose Castillo: Yeah, it’s ,Hyundai definitely does a good job in giving us the liberty to be creative, to be ourselves and to express ourselves. So we have a great team and diversity, and corporate social responsibility that kinda listens to us, and lets us run with it and see where it goes, and they support us, and I think we even seize to amaze them all the time too.
>> Kathy Cunningham: That’s fantastic.
>> Rose Castillo: Yeah.
>> Kathy Cunningham: That’s fantastic. What else can we learn from brands out there that are doing it right? Is there any standout brand in your mind that’s doing a good job?
>> Rose Castillo: I like what Marriott does with the way their leadership and their companies are. Southwest because you’re a big-
>> Kathy Cunningham: Sure.
>> Rose Castillo: Leadership company. So I like these companies that are used to just servicing others, but now are bringing that inside and servicing their employees. So I think that brand of just servicing their stakeholders inside the company is something that I admire and want to follow as well.
>> Kathy Cunningham: That is a concept that is taking off as well, and I think Southwest Airline is a good example. And the way you explain it us is that they’re used to servicing their customers, and they sort of turn that service in internally into their company. And they sort of teach their employees how to do the same thing.
>> Rose Castillo: Right, right.
>> Kathy Cunningham: What you were saying, give them the opportunity to learn how to do this.
>> Rose Castillo: Yeah, and the studies are showing that it’s proven to be effective. You’re getting employees that are more engaged, that are more productive, that are enjoying to be at work, that are staying there a lot longer than other companies that are not providing that opportunity to their employees.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Yeah, well we can learn a lot from professionals like you when you share their personal stories, so I really appreciate that. I was wondering if there was a learning experience or a time or a situation in your career where you faced a personal obstacle and maybe how you overcame it.
>> Rose Castillo: I think it’s similar to what we were discussing earlier with the employee resource group. Originally when their, that wasn’t something that was seen in the regions. I like to be engaged. I was doing a Gallup strength training, and I’m a big relater in something I’m learning, as relaters seek close relationships. So this was my first time coming into a company where we had so many regional offices and national offices all across the country side. I was like how can I feel engaged and connected? So that was a big obstacle for me at that time. And when the employee resources groups came out and were saying, hey, this is what we offer, anyone’s interested. I’m like, uh huh, this is my moment to kind of get in there and say, hey, I’m over here, let’s work together and do something. So I think that was the obstacle I was facing, just finding that connection, that engagement, and that’s what the employee resources groups gave me with that.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Really great story because someone like you that is a relater, they’re looking for those sort of opportunities. And if a company doesn’t have that, then perhaps your story that you’re sharing today, they can get something like that started within their company. So again, they can look into their company and maybe they can spirit some of that kind of engagement internally.
>> Rose Castillo: Yes.
>> Kathy Cunningham: I think you’ve given us some great examples of how to do that. And I think an employee research group is something that just about anybody can get started within their company.
>> Rose Castillo: Yes, yes. Yes, definitely.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Yeah, especially if there’s someone like you and they’re a relater. [LAUGH] Yes. Takes a special person to do that.
>> Rose Castillo: Yeah.
>> Kathy Cunningham: But you also, you wake that up and other people around you, which I think is what I’m getting out of your story as well.
>> Rose Castillo: Yeah.
>> Kathy Cunningham: You use that to be a good example for everybody, and just give people the opportunity. Because I think people want to do that, and if they have an example of how to do that and they have resources within the company, then that really helps.
>> Rose Castillo: Yes, and the great thing is that we all have something different to offer. So when you bring all these things to the table and then everybody can bring in their unique skill, you end up with an amazing group and you accomplish things that you never thought were possible. We all don’t have to be skilled at the same thing in order to be successful, and I think that the diversity that we can bring to it is what gives us that advantage.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Yeah, and I think, since we are here in Women in Automotive convention here in Orlando, I think that that’s the kind of thing maybe that women are bringing to to the automotive industry that maybe we haven’t had the opportunity to do that in the past.
>> Rose Castillo: Yes, yes.
>> Kathy Cunningham: I think that’s really interesting because when you do have men and women at the same management table you have different ideas. And if women are missing from that table then there’s a whole group of ideas that you’re not getting.
>> Rose Castillo: Yes.
>> Kathy Cunningham: And so I think that that’s a great example of how that’s really working right now at Hyundai.
>> Rose Castillo: I agree, you wanna bring in diverse people to bring in more different ideas. If you have too many people of the same group or just the same mindset, you’re just gonna get the same end result. And in order to step it up and get to that next level or continue to change with the way the culture and our world is changing, you need to bring in these people from different backgrounds.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Yeah, and I think one of the things people are looking for now in their work too is purpose. And not every company is as purposeful as they want to be, but you can have things within the company that give you purpose too. Which I think you’re giving us some really good examples of that.
>> Rose Castillo: Yes, yes, I agree.
>> Kathy Cunningham: It’s uncovering those sort of things, to just keep employees engaged and that’s really, that’s what your job is.
>> Rose Castillo: Yes.
>> Kathy Cunningham: And how do you do that? You give people purpose.
>> Rose Castillo: Yes, yeah, yeah. I think the automotive industry can use some of that. Yeah, and we’ve definitely even seen it within our members, just on a regional level. In our region we provide summaries at the end of the year, and since we’ve started we’ve seen either people, even if it’s a lateral move, they’re moving, they’re learning different things. We’ve seen members get promotions and continue to develop, and our managers are seeing how much more engaged we are, how much more we’re trying to do things within the company. So it’s definitely providing a positive influence for the company.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Fantastic and what a great story. Let’s keep talking about this in a similar light. Let’s talk about mentoring. I’d like to know what your thoughts are on mentoring, and maybe how it’s affected your career. And maybe you were a mentor or someone mentored you.
>> Rose Castillo: All right, I’ve definitely had a mentor in the past that really she just took me under her wing and exposed me to things that I normally didn’t have to do in my normal job duties. And she saw the potential and helped me grow. And then being here I’ve had other managers that kinda have organically taking on that mentor and mentee relationship with me and them. And we’ve seen it in the company as well, a few relationships I’ve have developed that foster that mentorship environment. And because we’ve seen that, our EOG’s actually taking the initiative to help launch a mentorship program within our company.
>> Kathy Cunningham: [LAUGH]
>> Rose Castillo: Yeah, so with you bringing that up, I’m like, that’s perfect, that’s exactly what we’re working on now. That’s our biggest goal and we’re pulling resources from other companies, seeing what works, what doesn’t work, and what fits with our culture and what we’re trying to achieve. And like I said earlier, we have 100 members. HR heard about this, and they were like, this is fantastic. We wanted to do it, but we don’t have the people right now to do it. So, I’m like, we have the numbers. Let’s break this up, let’s get this going. Even we started within our ERG and then see how it works. And then launch it into the company, or maybe the company will take it on and launch it as well, but we see the need for that and the benefits that come with mentorship. And we wanna incorporate that, and it’s something that our members also want and are excited about. So we’re looking forward to getting that started. Some of the girls that are here were like, we’re gonna start talking about this and planning already. So we’re excited to see what mentorship at Hyundai is gonna look like.
>> Kathy Cunningham: It sounds like a perfect transition from where you guys are with your ERGs.
>> Rose Castillo: Yes.
>> Kathy Cunningham: And with your Ask the Expert kind of series that you had, it’s really all about that. And I think that’s one of the reasons why we wanted to start a podcast like this. Because people can listen to people like you and you’re providing mentorship, and it’s really just a matter of being able to listen to the people that are doing it now. How did they do that? How did they get there? And you don’t always have to know your mentor, you don’t always have to sit across from them. There’s so many opportunities now these days to too for us to share this wisdom. And so I thank you again for being a mentor to our listeners.
>> Rose Castillo: [LAUGH] Thank you
>> Kathy Cunningham: It’s great advice, really great. What do you think, going back to the automotive industry that we’re in here, just kind of wrapping this up, what do you see as the most significant challenge for the automotive industry in adapting to the changing market and attracting and retaining more professional females?
>> Rose Castillo: I think the customers are changing a lot faster than the companies are able to adapt to it. The consumer culture is evolving, it’s a lot more different, and there’s just so many new ways of connecting with them that it’s taking the automotive industry a little bit of time to catch up. I think they’re trying to, and they’re making a lot of effort, and I think that’s where sometimes there’s a little bit of lag there, between trying to capture them and how can we capture them? It’s been a challenge for us, but I think that’s where it is right now.
>> Kathy Cunningham: It’s so interesting because consumers are so much a part of a company’s brand than they were in the past. They’re really pushing the brand, as opposed to us pushing our branding down on them, they’re really telling us what they want.
>> Rose Castillo: Oh, yeah.
>> Kathy Cunningham: And they’re really leading the way with some of this kinda communication. And I think that the market is ripe for a company that’s gonna step up and take advantage of it, because I think in the automotive, they’re all a little behind, they’re all a little behind on this. So it seems to me with our conversation today that Hyundai has a great leg up on this.
>> Rose Castillo: Yeah, yeah, customers don’t just want to buy a car they want to buy the brand and what we stand for. So they wanna find that connection, and I think with the Hyundai Hope on Wheels donating to pediatric cancer, and now, our employee resources groups that are connecting. We have Drive Equality one, which is for our LGBTQ community, and they were present at the GLAAD Awards. And we have our women event and we’re trying to be a big presence here in the Women in Automotive conference and things like that. So we’re making sure we’re getting out there and people are saying, hey, we think the same way you think and we value the same things you value. And I think that’s that’s where we’re bridging that gap and making that connection with our customers, because that’s what they’re looking for as well.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Yeah, it really sounds like it. Is there anything else that Hyundai is doing that is innovative and different?
>> Rose Castillo: We have a program called Big Ideas, which is something that was new to me, and I loved it. It’s almost like the show Shark Tank.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Oh, sure.
>> Rose Castillo: [LAUGH] So they open it up to all employees, and say, hey, present us with the next big idea for Hyundai, and it could be whatever you want it, could be just improving something small, or a new innovative idea in our cars. So it’s for everyone. So they give us a deadline, and then we have it on this site, and then we all vote on who we think had the best idea, and then they go to the top, I think it’s five. And they go and they present it to our executives, and they have a proposal and things like that, and they record it and-
>> Kathy Cunningham: [LAUGH]
>> Rose Castillo: It’s exactly like the Shark Tank concept, it’s hilarious. But it’s great to see because now people are like, they have all these great ideas, but they didn’t know how to get that out there. So bringing this Big Idea out there to our employees is really engaging them, getting their innovative ideas out there and helping the company grow. So I thought that was pretty awesome, seeing that.
>> Kathy Cunningham: [LAUGH] Oh, wow. The Big Idea.
>> Speaker 1: Yeah.
>> Kathy Cunningham: So I have to see, now, has one made it through the process yet?
>> Rose Castillo: Yes, I think we’ve had two so far, it started a few years ago.
>> Kathy Cunningham: [LAUGH]
>> Rose Castillo: But yeah, people are looking at issues and tackling them. I know, I think we’re already working on it with the children that were getting left in the vehicles, when they were hot, technology to tackle that issue.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Oh, my gosh.
>> Rose Castillo: Now, we have something in place for that. And they’ve had things for helping students, graduates, with their cars. Some type of program where they can, I believe it was something like they get a scholarship. So if you buy a Hyundai while you’re still in college, you can qualify to get a scholarship through Hyundai. So it’s all different things, but they’re listening and they’re going for it. It’s not just about the product, it’s just about that consumer relationship and they’re listening, and people are coming up with great ideas.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Wow, because you just never know where the next best idea is going to come from.
>> Rose Castillo: Yes.
>> Kathy Cunningham: It doesn’t always come from the engineers.
>> Rose Castillo: No, no, it does not. [LAUGH]
>> Kathy Cunningham: What a fantastic program, that is definitely innovation. Well, Rose, you’ve been such a great guest, and just shared some really great stories with us. I have one more question for you.
>> Rose Castillo: Okay.
>> Kathy Cunningham: This is an easy one. Do you have a daily habit or two that you feel contributes to your success?
>> Rose Castillo: A to-do list. [LAUGH] I love a to-do list myself. Yes, I love checking those boxes. I’m one of those that forgets everything. So if I’m not writing it down, if I’m having a conversation with you, I need to take those notes down, because it will go. So I think having that list helps me stay focused, stay on track, and then I also have, by my cubicle, it’s four points, does it need to be done right now? Can it wait? Avoid your distractions and focus on the goal. So it kinda, especially in what I do, I’m always getting people from different departments, hey, I need help with this, I need help with that. And in order for me to hone in on what needs to get done right away and focus on those things and check those boxes on that to-do list. [LAUGH] That’s my go-to every day and it helps me stay focused and stay sane and achieve my daily goals.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Yeah, that’s great advice, and I heard something really interesting the other day too, because I love to keep lists, too. But on top of that, one of the things that you can do to really stay focused on your most vital is to write three things on a sticky. So a sticky note, the good old sticky note. The three most important things on your big list that you really have to get done that are really gonna move it to the next level, too. Because some things are urgent, and then there are some things that are really important, and a lot of times, the things that are more urgent take precedent over the things that are important. So if you write down those three really important things, they’re gonna propel you forward, and just concentrate on those. Just put it on a little sticky note. So I put a stick note on top of my list now. [LAUGH] And then I’m always peaking underneath it.
>> Rose Castillo: And on the computer, to have sticky notes that you can put it on your desktop, so I have stickies in my desktop and still outside of my monitor [LAUGH] and my lists. Yeah, stay focused.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Stay focused, yeah, you have to do that. Well, thank you so much, and I hope you have a great time at the Women in Automotive conference here in Orlando. And you’ve been a spectacular guest, and so interesting to hear what Hyundai is doing on on this front, sounds like you’re doing a lot.
>> Rose Castillo: Yeah, thank you for having me, it was a pleasure.
>> Kathy Cunningham: Thank you, everybody, and we’ll have the complete show notes on our website. And you can follow up with Rose if you wanna know anything more, thanks a lot.