The Women in Autonomy (WIA) Steering Committee is made up of impassioned leaders and change makers in the automotive and autotech industries. Their guidance and expertise enable us to develop and execute thoughtful, engaging programming, as well as extend our impact to ensure female voices are better heard and represented.
Steering Committee member Katie Burke is NVIDIA’s Automotive Content Marketing Manager. Prior to NVIDIA, she worked as a journalist, most recently as the Silicon Valley reporter for Automotive News, where she covered the intersection of the technology and automotive industries.
Katie first heard about Women in Autonomy from colleagues that attended our first panel, Driving the Future of Transportation and promptly threw her hat in the ring, volunteering her time and ingenuity to help drive our movement forward. Not only does Katie create content for our quarterly newsletter and offer astute advice on programming and planning, she also played an integral role in the development and execution of WIA’s recent GTC Digital partnership.
Read on to learn more about why Katie chose to get involved with Women in Autonomy, the obstacles she feels women face in automotive and autotech, and her biggest role model throughout her career.
Q: Why did you choose to get involved with WIA?
I chose to get involved with WIA because early in my career, I was lucky enough to have female mentors who helped me navigate the world of business journalism, and later, the even more complex autonomous driving industry. Having experienced women to learn from and lean on allowed me to grow professionally and showed me how getting immersed in these topics can be a truly enjoyable career experience. I believe WIA provides this crucial resource for women throughout the autonomous vehicle industry on an organizational level. It’s a community of women who share the same passions, all eager to exchange knowledge and experience to help each other as well as to move this transformational technology forward. In short, it was an opportunity too important to pass up!
Q: What's the biggest obstacle women face in the automotive and autotech industries?
As someone involved in the marketing and communications side of this industry, I see visibility as one of the bigger obstacles for women in autonomy. Too often, we see panels featuring all men or articles interviewing only male autonomy experts. I don’t think the faces we commonly see on these platforms wholly represent the people developing autonomous vehicles. It’s crucial to elevate female and minority voices, making it clear this is an industry for everyone, developing a technology that will benefit everyone. I think communities like WIA are key to addressing this obstacle, connecting women across the industry and providing a platform for those voices.
Q: We know the importance of role models and mentors. Who has been your biggest advocate or teacher?
My editor at Automotive News, Sharon Carty, taught me the most about the intersection of the automotive, technology and journalism industries. She talked me through my first test drives, showed me how to take off the rose-colored glasses when covering new innovations and how to keep my writing short and sweet. Now, at NVIDIA, I have a whole community of talented women working in autonomous vehicle marketing, communications, business development and engineering to learn from. I think it’s vital to cultivate and maintain these relationships throughout one’s career — you never know when you’ll need advice or encouragement, or be able to provide it to someone else.
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