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Nominations open for Autocar’s Great Women: Rising Stars 2021 initiative

Autocar's Great Women Rising Stars initiative 2021 - nomination window now open

Nominations are being invited for Autocar’s Great Women: Rising Stars initiative as the event prepares to celebrate the automotive sector's top female employees.

Run in association with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and judged by a panel of automotive experts, the initative will recognise an overall winner, as well as up-and-coming women, at a virtual ceremony on June 15. 

The day will also include presentations from keynote speakers as well as interviews with the rising star winners.

SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: “We are proud to be working alongside Autocar once again to recognise some of the women who have recently chosen to work within the automotive sector and are making a substantial difference.

“This initiative promotes the opportunities available within UK automotive across many disciplines, opportunities that we need filled by the very best from all backgrounds and genders. This is essential if the automotive business is to shape the important future of mobility for everyone.”

Author, chief executive of Gaia Innovation Ltd and Automotive 30% Club founder, Julia Muir, told an interview at AM Live Virtual that women in car retail are losing out disproportionately during the COVID-19 pandemic as they step back from their careers amid the pressures of home schooling and stereotypical household responsibilities.

Appearing in a CDK Global-sponsored webinar alongside Marshall Motor Holdings chief executive Daksh Gupta, she said: “Employers must be working to ensure that women aren’t detrimentally affected.”

In 2020, PSA Group UK’s managing director Alison Jones was named the overall winner at the Autocar Great Women in the British Car Industry awards event. Alison Jones, managing director of PSA Group UK

Autocar editor Mark Tisshaw said: “Alison has a formidable track record in the industry over many years. 

“She played a key role in helping steer Volkswagen through the emissions scandal and towards electrification.

“Now, she has already shown what she is capable of at the top of the PSA Group in the UK, leading its three brands into a new age of electrification and tougher regulations while also handling the COVID-19 crisis with aplomb.”

In 2019, Emma King, a senior purchasing manager for EV battery cells at Ford, was crowned the winner of the Rising Stars event, where she was deemed to be “at the forefront of a fast-paced industry”.

Marshall Motor Group’s head of corporate sales Zoe Lawson was also presented with the awards’ Sales category prize at the event in 2019.

Autocar’s Great Women 2021 judging panel will be chaired by Haymarket Automotive’s managing director, Rachael Prasher.

The panel – also comprising Mark Tisshaw, Jim Holder and Piers Ward from Autocar’s editorial team, plus the SMMT’s chief executive Mike Hawes and head of communications Karen Parry – will select the women who they consider will have the most ‘potential to make a difference’, in the industry.

The rising stars will be selected from the following 12 areas: aftersales and workshop, design, manufacturing, marketing, mobility and digital solutions, operations, people development, PR, and communications, purchasing, sales and vehicle development.

A winner will be selected in each category, with the overall winner then chosen from that list.

In addition to the up-and-coming women in the British car industry, there is a category for apprentices that celebrates new talent at the beginning of their career in the sector.

Candidates can nominate themselves or be nominated by their peers. Nominees are asked to submit information on the topics for consideration and the supporting evidence should be no more than 155 words per section.

The nomination window closes at 11:59pm on April 16, 2021.

Make a nomination at:  

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