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The Petersen Museum Is Offering $25,000 to One Female-Owned Automotive Business

Parker is a mother, too, and sees the chance to create change for her two daughters and other women coming up through the professional world.

“I think the Petersen is visionary in what they’re doing and driving toward reaching parity in the automotive industry,” Parker says. “There are a lot of women out there who are creative, innovative, smart, and scrappy and have everything they need to make huge contributions except for financial backing. Only two percent of all venture capital goes to women-owned businesses, so there is a gap. It was nudging up slightly, and in 2020 it dropped and started heading the wrong direction, partly because women took the brunt of the home-based challenges.”

The committee is accepting applications until July 31, and includes not just the financial backing and mentorship but an office inside the Petersen and access to all the contacts and resources the Petersen has to offer. Applicants can own a business that touches automotive in wide ways, like aftermarket vehicle accessories, driving-related apparel, transport and delivery. Potential mentees must be a southern California-based company for 2021, although Lassek says they hope to grow the program nationwide.

“Having access to those who have paved the path and are further along is really remarkably valuable,” Parker says. “This is a game changer.” 

Got a tip? Send the writer a note: kristin.shaw@thedrive.com