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In an era where major strides towards female empowerment make their way across a variety of industries, Franco is proud to have strong female representation in our agency. President Tina Kozak is, quite literally, leading that charge. From managing our dynamic staff and client work to sharing her professional insight with others outside the business – she’s undoubtedly a trailblazer when it comes to female leadership.

Recently Kozak was invited to speak with a group of 15 female leaders as part of Air-Way Global Manufacturing Women’s Retreat in Auburn Hills. All the women in attendance are managers at the company, and each one has spent a considerable number of years working their way through the ranks of the organization.

To begin the conversation, Kozak gave a brief overview of her personal background and career story. She connected with many of the women there due to her career beginnings in the automotive industry. Historically, both the automotive and manufacturing fields have had less female representation than male.

A United States Census Bureau report shows that in 2016, women made up 29 percent of the population of manufacturing industry workers while male workers claimed the other 71 percent. Female representation within the automotive industry has also seen a similar lopsidedness. After all, it wasn’t until 2014 that Mary Barra became the first female CEO of a major international automaker when she took the position at General Motors. This systematic lack of female presence often forced Kozak to be persistent in gaining the respect of those who worked alongside her.

Along with conversation about her background, Kozak also talked about her experience having children as a working woman. She shared the challenges of balancing work and life as a mother, but ultimately those trials have forced her to learn to courageously advocate for herself.

It’s inevitable that women in business will face many challenges that male managers and leaders never have to consider, and that constant hustle can leave many women burned-out. As the conversation continued, Kozak facilitated further discussion about practices the managers use when they begin to feel exhaustion creeping in. Many of those in attendance shared their own self-care tips ranging from perspective shifting exercises to seeking out personal or professional support systems.

To say our agency is proud of the example Kozak sets is an understatement. She not only goes out of her way to have discussions about what self-empowerment means but makes it a practice to empower those around her, including co-workers and clients. Her leadership directs Franco in an ever-forward motion.