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Peugeot's Linda Jackson among speakers at annual Women Automotive Summit

The Women Automotive Network

The Women Automotive Summit has confirmed Peugeot's global chief executive Linda Jackson among its roll-call of high-profile speakers.

Jackson will join Jo Payne, president at Ford Romania, Kylie Jimenez, vice president people and innovation at Toyota Motor Europe, at the June 21 and 22 online event which is expected to attract more than 500 people. 

News of the speaker line-up came as the team behind the Summit officially launched the Women Automotive Network, a new global initiative launched to support women in the automotive industry.

The network, which held its first meeting on March 8 with speakers from Bentley General Motors, ZF, Flex & TE Connectivity, is a community of professionals from across all disciplines of the industry.

It aims to create a hub for automotive representatives and discussion platform for diversity questions and technology solutions affecting industry's future.

In 2014, 7% of executives were women in the top 20 motor companies in the Fortune Global 500, a value that rose only to 8% in 2018, according to the network.

The network launched in February 2021 and already has more than 2,000 international members, it said, and hopes to raise awareness of the economic advantages of diversity and promote ways for women to connect and support each other.

Based on members’ suggestions and needs, it said it delivers personal and business insight, and will deliver three virtual events this year – to provide industry leaders and international members an opportunity to spur change.

A spokesperson for the Women Automotive Summit and Women Automotive Network said that its events were worked towards "similar goals" to those of the UK's Automotive 30% Club.

Founded by Julia Muir in 2016, the Automotive 30% Club has long campaigned for increased diversity in the automotive sector.

Among the latest additions to its industry supports are: Steven Eagell Group founder and chief executive, Steven EagellHendy Group's chief executive Paul Hendy and chief operating officer Simon Bottomley; and Cox Automotive International president Martin Forbes and Manheim Auction Services and NextGear Capital MD Liam Quegan.

Muir said that women are 'losing out disproportionately' during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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