(Photo: File)

Mission Control: How Toyota Research Institute’s Kelly Kay Is Transforming Mobility

Originally published pressroom.toyota.com.

Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is pioneering the technologies that will drive the future and building a new approach to mobility — and women are helping to lead that transformation.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting one of the women at the forefront of creating a revolution in human movement, TRI Executive Vice President Kelly Kay, who also serves as chief financial officer and chief safety officer. Kay is responsible for overseeing overall operations at TRI, including its financial and cultural priorities. With a background in transforming industries, Kay emphasizes diversity and collaboration to develop a culture of innovation and encourages everyone at Toyota to think big.

Toyota Newsroom chatted with Kay about her experiences in the world of tech and how she’s working to build the future of mobility.

What do you think a culture of innovation looks like?

One of the biggest misconceptions is that it’s technology that drives innovation. But there’s more than just technical innovation — there’s also human innovation, which comes from the people who are asking, “How can we do things better? How can we look at things from a different angle? How can we transform our ways of thinking and doing things?” For me, transformation is possible with a team of people with a balance of skills and ideas and intense diversity.

How are you preparing your team during this time of transformation?

When I’m interviewing people for my team, I’m looking for folks who can be leaders. I really try and focus on people who are willing to take risk. People who are willing to look at things from a different perspective. I really am focused on diversity across the team that I’m hiring, and I want people who aren’t afraid of a challenge or change. A lot of people don’t like change, but I really enjoy it. So in summary, I’m building a team of experts who are risk takers, decision makers and people who will help us transform the company. 

What advice would you give to young women in your field?

Don’t be afraid. That’s what I say when women at TRI come to me and ask me questions like, “How do I get people to listen to me?” or “When should I talk in a meeting?” Those are tough questions because it does take a lot of courage to speak up, but you need to have the courage to stand up for what you believe in. Whether that’s in an actual meeting or just in general, don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself.

Latest News

Biden Stands by His Commitment to LGBTQ rights; Cost of Racism in the U.S. Tops $16 Trillion; Black and Latinx Continue to Die from COVID-19 at Nearly Twice the Rate of Whites; and More

Biden reaffirms commitment to LGBTQ rights; promises to pass Equality Act. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden doubled down on his promises to the LGBTQ community while speaking at a presidential town hall for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation on Sept. 24. “You deserve a partner in the White House to…

degeneres, work, show

Leadership Lessons to be Gleaned from Ellen DeGeneres’ Toxic Workplace Scandal

Ellen DeGeneres began her daytime talk show’s 18th season with an apology after a summer of allegations against her that claimed her show promoted a toxic work environment rife with racism, sexual misconduct and other mistreatment. In August 2020, three senior producers — executive producers Ed Glavin and Kevin Leman…

COVID entrepreneur

Explosive New Growth in Small Businesses Due to COVID-19; America’s Police Force is Not Becoming More Diverse Despite BLM Movement; the Best and Worst Performing States in the 2020 Census; and More

Even with incredible nationwide unemployment rates, the creation of new small and diverse businesses has exploded due to COVID-19. Finally some news coming out of our pandemic: The Philadelphia Tribune reports that as bars and restaurants closed and stay-at-home orders were put into place earlier in 2020 to help fight…

Justice for Breonna not served; The essential rule of politics; Teen serves two months in jail for not doing homework; and More

Justice for Breonna not served as grand jury indicted officer who shot her with wanton endangerment — but not murder. “Outrageous and offensive.” Those were  by attorney to the family, Ben Crump to describe the grand jury’s decision in the March 13 fatal police shooting of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor. While…

IBM, EEOC, age

EEOC Unearths Years of Intentional Age Discrimination within IBM

After a long investigation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has revealed that IBM leaders had directed managers to replace older workers with younger ones. Between 2013 and 2018, nearly 86% of those considered for layoffs within the organization were older employees over the age of 40. The investigation showed…

Breathe March in Globe Park, New York, USA - 12 Sep 2020

Cities under attack from the Justice Department; Louisville bracing for the Breonna Taylor murder charge; Twitter reveals its racist side; and More

Justice department attacks three U.S. cities, declaring them anarchist zones — despite most of the protests that took place in each city being peaceful marches in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. In a move designed to pull federal funding from New York City, Seattle and Portland, OR, the…

ginsburg, supreme, court

The Lasting Legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — Plus the Four Biggest Issues Currently at Stake Following Her Death

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who served on the nation’s highest court for 27 years, passed away Friday, Sept. 18 at the age 87. “As the second woman ever to sit on the highest court in the land, she was a warrior for gender equality — someone who believed…

BASF Invests Into Pyrum as Part of its ChemCyclingTM Project

Originally published on BASF.com  Pyrolysis oil from waste tires as additional raw material source next to oil from mixed plastic waste Investment will support construction of additional production capacities for pyrolysis oil Milestone in establishing a circular economy for post-consumer plastic waste Pyrolysis oil will partly replace fossil feedstock and…