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New MotoNovo network targets increased female representation in car retail

Karl Werner CEO MotoNovo

MotoNovo Finance has launched a new network to support dealer and broker partners in increasing female representation at all levels across motor retailing.

Known as GROW (Generating Real Opportunities for Women), the initiative is open to everyone and has been created to increase understanding in areas such as unconscious bias and to challenge, support, and encourage meaningful discussions about gender issues in motor retailing when it comes to career development.

Leading the initiative is MotoNovo MD Karl Werner, an active member of The Automotive 30% Club. His '30 by 30' strategy aims to see at least 30% of key leadership positions held by talented women by 2030. It is a goal that MotoNovo has already exceeded with a 50/50 gender structure in place across the business' Senior Leadership team.

Werner said: "Embracing diversity and inclusion in all its guises is central to MotoNovo's culture. We want to play our part in creating a fairer society and have taken big strides to 'raise our own bar' as an employer.

“Broadening this out to support and encourage people and businesses across the motor retailing sector to adopt similar change and feel the benefits, we see as a natural extension. As an active member of The Automotive 30% Club, I am delighted to be the sponsor of our Women’s Network and look forward to playing my part in championing it as a platform for positive change."

GROW will launch with a series of virtual interactive seminars, building upon the success and impact of online channels seen during the pandemic. These events will feature guest speakers, case studies and highlight the availability of resources available to help women and businesses to take positive action to enhance the support and opportunities available to women. 

Julia Muir, founder Automotive 30% Club, added: "It's great that MotoNovo Finance is taking action and launching GROW. There’s strong evidence that women’s networks with a goal of inspiring, developing and supporting women have a significant positive impact on women’s progression. Something special happens when women see that they are not alone. 

“A company serious about being gender balanced should establish a network that is inclusive for both sexes like GROW is. The purpose is to share perspectives, find common ground and work together on solutions that are fed back to senior leadership for action. 

“Male members learn that they’re the other half of the gender balance and that they will also benefit from changes. Involvement should be encouraged and led from the top as Karl Werner is doing.  I hope many more of our members will establish inclusion networks like GROW.”

Mazda has introduced a Gender Balance Initiative to increase the representation of women in front-line and senior management roles across its UK dealer network.

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