#WomensHistoryMonth at Cox Enterprises: Get to Know Lori Wittman

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#WomensHistoryMonth at Cox Enterprises: Get to Know Lori Wittman

Lori Wittman is Dealertrack's senior vice president of F&A and CRM solutions
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Monday, March 28, 2016 - 9:25am

CAMPAIGN: Cox Automotive


In celebration of Women's History Month, female leaders from across Cox Enterprises are sharing insights from their experience throughout the month of March. Lori Wittman is Dealertrack's senior vice president of F&A and CRM solutions. Dealertrack is part of Cox Automotive.


What women inspire you and why?

I’ve had the good fortune to experience a number of strong women that have inspired me during my lifetime:

  • One of my high school teachers: This woman felt passionate about her job and how she grew future leaders. She was not only very good at her job — taking a personal interest in me and my development – but she was also a good mother, husband, sister, etc.  
  • One of my early bosses where I worked at a bank in my home town during high school: This woman was also energized by her work and was able to succeed in what was otherwise an entirely male executive team.
  • My husband’s grandmothers: Both of these women successfully created and led their own small businesses. They started these businesses at a time when that wasn’t the norm. They also both had full family lives and were active in their communities.

I also think it is important to note that many of my role models have been male, including my father.  I believe that we sometimes overlook the value of male mentoring for females.


What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

We are our own biggest barrier. We need to have higher expectations and more confidence in our abilities. This will improve as women work with and see others succeed...and know what is possible. We need to help each other. Men are better at networking and helping their brethren succeed and move into better roles. We need to adopt a similar approach and realize the power of relationships.


What will be the biggest challenge and opportunity for the generation of women that follow you?

I think women will continue to experience similar challenges to generations in the past. I think the real power is in the opportunities. Women will benefit from growth of technology. What I mean by that is, technology will make it easier for women to play a strong role in the workplace while not shortchanging her family. New tools are being developed every day that make ‘virtual presence’ easier and more effective. Another opportunity is in how companies have embraced the differences in the leadership styles of women (vs. men). It is becoming more evident every day that some leadership roles are a better fit for styles typically exhibited by women. This is very exciting and should open doors for women to succeed at higher levels in companies than ever before.


What are the best and worst decisions you've ever made?

One of the best decisions was to leave consulting when my boys were young. My career was continuing to advance at a fast pace, and I was concerned about my ability to continue to balance consulting work with the needs of my two boys. I felt freed by the change and re-engaged at a deeper level with my kids — even though I continued to work. One of the worst decisions I made was to leave consulting. What I realized after leaving is that I was putting more pressure on myself than even my male counterparts. I was a strong performer, and I should have worked through the issue with my boss and ‘created’ the work environment that would have allowed me to succeed. I would have made the world a better place for people behind me—both women and men.


What is your perspective on work/life balance?

My perspective is that it is different for everyone. You can’t assume that others have the same needs/wants as you do. And, that you have to be strong and stand up for what is important to your own specific situation.  


About Cox Enterprises: 

Cox Enterprises is a leading communications, media and automotive services company. With revenues of $18 billion and approximately 55,000 employees, the company's major operating subsidiaries include Cox Communications (cable television distribution, high-speed Internet access, telephone, home security and automation, commercial telecommunications and advertising solutions); Cox Automotive (automotive-related auctions, financial services, media and software solutions); and Cox Media Group (television and radio stations, digital media, newspapers and advertising sales rep firms). The company's major national brands include Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Manheim, Savings.com and Valpak. To learn more about Cox's commitment to people, sustainability and our communities, please visit CoxCSRReport.com.

Keywords: Diversity & Human Resources | Business & Trade | Cox Enterprises | Women's History Month | Women In Business | dealertrack | lori wittman | work life balance

CAMPAIGN: Cox Automotive