Being an automotive journalist definitely has its perks, especially when you get to spend three days in Westlake Village in sunny Southern California driving the latest offerings form different manufacturers. With 13 cars, a handful of other female automotive journalists, alternative media, PR, and product specialists, Heels and Wheels 2015 was an event unlike any other.
The one thing that separates this event form others like it is that is an all-female event, which is very empowering. Women in the industry don’t get very much representation, and its events like this that we can get together and not only build relationships, but celebrate something that we all love–without judgement.
At this year’s event, we kicked off the event by driving up Pacific Coast Highway from El Segundo to Westlake Village, giving us plenty of photo ops in our different cars. While there was only one convertible in the group, my drive partner, Cynthia Bogart of The Daily Basics, and I managed to get behind the wheel of the all-new 2015 Lexus RC F. That is one car I definitely recommend taking out for a test drive.
We settled into our hotel, and had a wonderful dinner and presentation by Autoliv, showcasing the latest in headlight safety technology. Talk about an eye-opener! This company is coming up with some pretty cool things. The next day was full of driving.
Here was the lineup:
- 2015 Buick Regal GS
- 2015 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack
- 2015 Dodge Challenger 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker
- 2015 GMC Canyon SLE Crew Long Box
- 2015 Infiniti QX60
- 2015 Jaguar F-Type S
- 2016 Kia Sorento SXL
- 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE
- 2015 Lexus NX 200t F Sport
- 2015 Lexus RC F
- 2016 Mazda6
- 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
- 2015 Nissan Murano SL
- 2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TSI SEL
I was pleasantly surprised at the level of camaraderie among all the women in attendance. There was no competition, no judgement, and when us automotive journalists were asked by the alternative media about the cars and what everything meant and how they worked, among other questions, they were genuinely curious, and not one of the auto journos talked down to them, which happens quite often at other industry events. The power of positivity and the level of respect that I witnessed gave me hope for this industry that constantly judges women for every little thing.
The event wrapped up with a presentation from Kelley Blue Book, and while many of us didn’t agree with what was said, we did come away with one thing: Women are always right!
I am so thankful to Christine Overstreet who put on the entire event and to all the women who lifted me up, let me bounce story ideas and more off of them, and who showed me true respect and friendship. I can’t wait for the next one!