Meet the 2020 Women of BMW: Kelly Dawsey

Here’s to the women who are empowering, inspiring, and leading others!

This Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating our Women of BMW! Each nominee exemplifies the pillars of movement and BMW and serves as an inspiration for the BMW family. Throughout the series, we will hear the stories and advice from women leaders who have broken stereotypes and shattered glass ceilings. We created the #WomenofBMW series to highlight the progress of women in their roles throughout the automotive industry while motivating change going forward.

Name: Kelly Dawsey

Division: Manufacturing

Location: South Carolina

Q: In a few words, describe your role at BMW? 

A: Currently, at BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC, I am the Department Manager for HR Planning.  In this Human Resources managerial role, I am responsible for the Strategic & Operational Human Resoures functions of Compensation, Benefits, Organizational Management & Development, Associate Wellbeing, the Associate Family Health Center and Strategic Human Resources Planning.  

Q: You’ve been described as someone who is a great corporate citizen by your colleagues. What community service projects are you involved with in and outside of BMW? 

A: As my family has personally been impacted by the Alzheimer’s disese, I am very focused on providing support to the elderly.  I actively participate in the annual Walk and Fund Raiser to End Alzheimers; as well, as I completed my first 5K run in the Jingle Bell Run in 2017 to raise awareness about arthritis for better treatments and a possible cure in the elderly population.  In addition, I have taught computer skills training to the older population at my church to help them maintain a comfort level as technology advances at great speeds.   Through BMW, I have participated in the Habitat for Humanity house building projects, served on the United Way of Piedmont’s Board, represented BMW on the community beautification volunteer day of Hands on Greenville and organized department-wide donations for underpriviledged children at Christimas and the annual Back To School tools events. 

Q: How would you say you’ve grown personally and professionally throughout your role at BMW? 

A: I am honored to say that in June of 2020, I will have been employed at BMW for 25 years.  If I look back 25 years ago, I did not imagine that I would stay at one company for such a long time.  What has kept me at BMW for this 25 year tenure is that I grow and learn each day.  BMW has allowed me to learn from my mistakes, celebrate my successes and develop those around me.  As Ginni Rometty (first woman Chaiman, President & CEO IBM) stated, “I learned to always take on things I’d never done before.  Growth and comfort do not coexist”.  This is an excellent summary of my career at BMW as it has never stood still, not for one moment, and in the end, I was stronger both professionally and personally for the experiences. 

Q: What advice would you give to women pursuing a career in your field? 

A: When I am asked this question, I always refer back to the Stephen Covey 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  I was fortunant, early in my career, to have the opportunity to go to a training course where I learned these 7 habits and they have been invaluable throughout my career.  When used in conjunction with each other and practiced in the daily professional (and personal) environment, they are most successful (“Be Proactive; Begin with the End in Mind; Put First Things First; Think Win-Win; Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood; Synergize; Sharpen the Saw”; Stephen Covey 7 Habits of Highly Effective People).  In addition, I would add that women always need to be authentic and true to who they are.  The professional environment puts pressures and demands on women that challenge us to think we need to be something that we are not; always remain true to yourself.  

Q: What inspires you in the workplace and why? 

A: I am inspired in the workplace by the opportunites, challenges and the diversity of people that the fast-paced global environment at BMW sets before me each day.  BMW has entrusted me as a leader in this company and I do not take that responsibility lightly.  It is up to me to ensure that the future leaders of BMW are developed and ready to take the reins in this VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex & ambiguous) business world as well as to maintain the operations of the business of today.   

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