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Heycar women in automotive webinar looks to ‘Break the Bias’

Karen Hilton, chief executive at Heycar

Heycar will look to ‘Break the Bias’ with a women in automotive-themed webinar discussion set to follow-up today’s International Women’s Day.

Karen Hilton, chief commercial officer at Heycar, will moderate the March 10 event, which will feature a panel comprised of: Fiona Howarth, the chief executive of Octopus Electric Vehicles; Katie Black, joint head of the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV); Kirsten Stagg, head of marketing at Skoda UK; and Moyosola Fujamade, national contract hire relationship manager at Kia Motors UK.

To register for for the free, hour-long Heycar panel discussion, which takes place at midday on Thursday, click here.

Currently, women represent only 20% of the automotive workforce and at the executive level this drops to less than 10%, according to research from Deloitte.

Hilton said: “At Heycar we’re passionate about promoting positive change in the automotive sector.

“We’ve been recognised as an inclusive employer and appreciate the benefits of delivering equality among employees. But we know there is more work to do within our organisation and the industry as a whole.

“We hope this event will showcase the fantastic roles in the automotive sector and give attendees some useful takeaways to effect change in their organisations and the wider industry.”

Heycar asserted that a more diverse workforce will help make car dealerships more inclusive for customers and could help address the skills shortage the industry faces in transitioning from conventional petrol and diesel cars to electric vehicles ahead of the Government’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030.

These are points made by Automotive 30% Club founder in her panel discussion at AM Live 2021 and in a recent AM News Podcast discussion with Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) president Prof Jim Saker, who is currently heading-up the IMI Diversity Task Force investigation into D&I in the sector.

Fujamade said: “I believe that we work within one of the world’s most exciting industries and with the ever-increasing focus on electrification and technology, we should be at the top of job seekers' preferred sectors but at times we are not, owing to a perceived and often factual lack of diversity.

"How do we go about becoming more attractive to individuals that have a different perspective because the opportunities are there? Diversity is crucial and this year’s International Women’s Day theme of ‘Break the Bias’ only amplifies this discussion point.”

Among the topic so the heycar webinar, its panel will discuss how to challenge bias which may prevent women from progressing their automotive careers or discourage women from entering the sector in the first place.

Howarth said: “With more viewpoints and experiences, we can create better products and services that will help us look after our planet. Having more women across the car sector can help us accelerate the switch to electric; and give them a platform for a great career.

“Diversity is key, and it is not restricted to gender. As a growing organisation, we'd love more applicants from all walks of life.”

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