Women Who Drive: A New Scholarship to Encourage Women

For the past couple of years, Decarie Motors in Montreal has held a series of events called Women Who Drive that put the focus on some of North America’s most innovative and successful women in a variety of fields, including the automotive industry.

Presented in partnership with Aston Martin, the latest one took place today as part of the celebrations of the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix. Laura Schwab, President of Aston Martin The Americas, once again made the trip to Montreal where she joined Decarie Motors general manager Cheryl Blas to help the luxury car dealer deliver some exciting news: the establishment of the annual Decarie Motors Women Who Drive Bursary at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business for the next five years.

Beginning in the 2019-2020 academic year, two deserving female students will get free tuition in the fields of entrepreneurship, finance or business technology—careers where women remain under-represented. The scholarships are open to Quebec residents only.

Decarie Motors will pledge a portion of every Aston Martin sold until the end of 2019 to its Women Who Drive Bursary. Further funding will come from public donations through a special page on the John Molson School of Business website.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all coming from Decarie Motors, which is one of our best dealers in North America,” Laura Schwab said, rejoicing at the initiative. “They talk the talk and walk the walk. The bursary reflects how great of an organization Cheryl and the team are.”

The head of Aston Martin, who took the time to meet with 40 women entrepreneurs and social activists in Montreal to exchange ideas and insights, believes events like Women Who Drive are a fantastic way to bond and learn from other women’s stories of perseverance and success. In fact, the concept has expanded to other cities in Canada and the U.S.

“When I joined Aston Martin [in October 2015], I was the only female executive. Now, we make up 50 percent of the team,” Schwab recalled, highlighting the progress made by women not only at her company but also within the auto industry. “Automakers must continue to show openness and be inclusive.”

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