A panel of judges chosen by Autocar, a weekly automobile magazine and the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) will name the first Top 100 Great British Women in the automotive industry in a July ceremony.
The ‘Great British Women in the Car Industry’ event will be held at the SMMT’s London headquarters and begin with a keynote speech by Ford of Europe’s vice president and COO, Barb Samardzich. A follow-up panel debate will then discuss the opportunities and issues involved.
This initiative is also backed by the Direct Line Group, Ford and Jaguar Land Rover with added support from Gaia Innovation.
The Autocar Great British Women in the Car Industry judging panel will be chaired by Haymarket Media Group’s automotive Brand Director Rachael Prasher and the panel comprises Jim Holder, Steve Cropley, Rachel Burgess, Mel Falconer and Vicky Parrott from Autocar’s editorial department alongside SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes and their Director of Communications and International, Tamzen Isacsson.
They will identify and recognise individuals across a series of functions and management levels including Design, Product Development, Manufacturing, Purchasing, Communications, Sales, Marketing, Motorsport, HR, Executive and Rising Stars.
SMMT’s Mike Hawes said: “UK Automotive employs around 800,000 people in the UK and, with record exports and productivity levels, it is an exciting industry to join. We’re delighted to support this new initiative to identify the most influential British women in the car industry and to promote them as role models to inspire young people considering career prospects in future.
Top 100 Great British Women in Automotive
This is music to my ears after eleven years singing this very song…
At long last we are seeing diversity progress and with Autocar’s high profile attention it is getting the impetus it needs with a view to the future.
This is the first industry event to celebrate the contribution that the growing female army of automotive stalwarts are making in the UK industry. So thumbs up to Autocar, the SMMT and quite a few influential females behind the scenes that are promoting the fantastic automotive careers on offer for women alongside the remarkable females that are steadily climbing the careers ladder for many to follow in their footsteps in future.
Why are Automotive Awards needed for Women?
Oh that awards based on gender weren’t needed, but the automotive industry is still a long way short of attracting its fair share of the female talent it needs. This means that the industry is doing without some 50% of the best talent it needs, recognising that female staff can represent the best interests of women customers who dominate the car buying and garage shopping decision process today.
Autocar editorial director, Jim Holder, said: “We have started this event to stimulate debate about the attractiveness of the industry we love as a place to work for everyone. At present, women are under-represented in the automotive industry, but it is our belief that a positive focus on the numerous opportunities that a career in the industry can offer can have a real impact in reversing that trend.
“Recent research has shown there are, right now, at least 5000 vacancies in UK automotive manufacturing, underlining a critical need to attract more young people into the industry – particularly women, who are currently outnumbered by men in the sector three to one.”
What are the career opportunities on offer?
As you might expect, male and female graduates with STEM related skills and talents are highly sought after by all manufacturing industries – so the automotive industry needs a high profile presence.
Those with IT, financial and mechanical qualifications have a mind blowing array of career choices too so we need them to consider the motor industry as well.
But the UK motor industry is also looking for individuals with people skills; those that make it their business to understand what the customer wants, to make sure that customers are raving fans and to commit to selling environmentally friendly, value for money products and services in an ethical and transparent manner.
In turn, the many young females that are likely to respond positively to a recruitment drive in these areas are looking for female friendly employers that understand their female needs as staff, not just those of their male predecessors.
For those females who don’t yet realise how many vital jobs there are on offer within the motor industry, we’re talking about HR, Marketing, Sales and customer service roles. And for those with a passion for numbers, there are always jobs in Accounts, Finance, Management and Boardroom roles.
You can find out more about today’s Women in the Motor Industry and the jobs they do.