Consultant, Major Events, Toyota Canada
Jennifer Okoeguale never considered a career in automotive until a job listing at Toyota Canada appeared on her radar. “I’m not a nuts-and-bolts person, I don’t know how a car works, am I ever going to fit in?” she recalls asking herself. Nobody’s asking whether she fits in anymore.
Okoeguale, 28, started in corporate communications in 2017 and moved to her current role as consultant in major events in August 2020. Along the way, she developed a reputation for being a powerful advocate for racial diversity across the automotive industry. In the aftermath of the murder last year of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Okoeguale decided more needed to be done to promote diversity across the industry. She lobbied Toyota Canada executives, who gave her the green light to become one of the automaker’s leading ambassadors for diversity. She’s changing how Toyota communicates with diverse communities. And as one of the founders of Accelerate Auto, a new nonprofit aimed at improving diversity in the industry, she’s helping encourage other people of colour who, such as herself, might never have considered a career in automotive.
IN HER OWN WORDS:
“I was very nervous going out with [Accelerate Auto]. I was not sure how receptive the industry would be, but I had a moment of personal reflection — ‘Will this affect my career?’ The second I started questioning that, I knew it was the right path. It has not been a risk at all. The leaders have stepped up. They’ve seen the need for Accelerate Auto.”