- Aruna Anand and Jennifer Wahnschaff recognized for their strong leadership success and positive impacts on the mobility industry
- Automotive News 100 Leading Women program runs only every 5 years
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., November 9, 2020 – Automotive News today announced its 2020 list of 100 Leading Women in the North American automotive industry with two Continental executives being honored: Aruna Anand, head of Continental Engineering Services North America and Jennifer Wahnschaff, senior vice president and head of Continental Intelligent Transportation Systems. The award honors women in executive positions who have had a major positive effect on their company's operations.
“Continental serves a wide variety of customers making diversity of thought, especially at the leadership level, critical to our success,” said Samir Salman, CEO of Continental North America. “Aruna and Jennifer are strong leaders who bring a unique problem-solving perspective and approach to their projects, teams and the company as a whole. We are thrilled they are being recognized for their achievements and industry impacts with this prestigious award.”
Anand joined Continental in 1997, working in leadership positions across multiple business units while taking on new challenges with an entrepreneurial mindset – a key quality that has helped her succeed, and a value she instills in her team. As the head of Continental Engineering Services North America, Anand is responsible for leading an independently operating business unit that offers comprehensive engineering services to Continental and external customers. Her technical expertise, business acumen and collaborative approach to problem solving have earned her a reputation as someone who gets things done.
In addition to hard work and an unwavering dedication to her colleagues and customers, Anand’s fearless determination has contributed to her success. Moving to the U.S. from India at just 21-years-old, she put herself through a master’s program while working at her university’s library. This approach to her work has earned her numerous awards, including several within Continental, a Women of Color STEM Professional Achievement in Industry Award and an Automotive News Rising Star recognition in 2018.
Anand is also a strong advocate for advancing women within Continental and the broader STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) community, spearheading award nominations that recognize women of color and dedicating herself to mentorship both in and outside the company.
Wahnschaff started her career with Continental in 2001 as a senior mechanical engineer, working hard for new opportunities and learning new skills along the way. After 17 years in a “traditional” automotive environment, Wahnschaff took her current role leading Continental Intelligent Transportation Systems where she has responsibility for a global team that develops products in an emerging market segment. Being a leader in a space working on cutting-edge technology and solutions has inspired her, and she uses that inspiration to motivate and collaborate with her team. It’s this inclusive approach to work that has cemented her success and the success of the teams she leads and customers she supports.
Never one to shy away from a new challenge, Wahnschaff, who grew up and started her career in metro Detroit, has twice accepted relocation opportunities, including her current position in San Jose, California. In 2011, she moved to Babenhausen, Germany, where she served as director of the company’s GM and FCA global customer center.
As an active mentor in the company's Women's Forum, Wahnschaff helps engage leaders at all levels of the organization and supports a framework for highlighting the power of perspectives and embracing differences. This commitment to mentorship and development, coupled with her successful track record within the company and with customers, earned her a distinguished Powered by Women recognition from Detroit’s business journal, DBusiness.
Recognitions like this underscore Continental’s commitment to enhancing its diversity efforts and investing in diverse talent that help expand and drive the company forward. The company was named one of the Best Companies for Women by Fairygodboss in 2019 and again in 2020. Continental congratulates all of the outstanding women being honored this year. Click here to view the full list of honorees.