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Entries open for Great Women Rising Stars awards

Autocar Great Women

The motoring industry’s best female talents are being encouraged to enter Autocar’s Great Women Rising Stars 2023 initiative.

Entries are now open for the awards, which are run by Autocar in association with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Great Women is a celebration of the incredible people and skills within the automotive industry, with the winners named at a prestigious awards ceremony in June that is proudly supported by some of the biggest names in the industry.

To reflect eight years of Autocar’s Great Women initiative and the ever-changing nature of the industry, several new categories have been introduced that will recognise winners from an extensive cross-section of the automotive world.

This includes an all-new Diversity, Equality and Inclusion category that recognises all those who demonstrate exemplary performance in making the motoring industry a more appealing prospect to people from wider sections of society.

Another category, Customer Aftercare, replaces last year’s Aftersales and Workshop category and is aimed at entries from people who are the very best performers at helping and assisting in this vital area of the industry.

Sales has also been split this year, to allow both retail and OEM personnel to apply for separate awards.

Haymarket Automotive’s managing director Rachael Prasher said: “Every year we look forward to celebrating the many and varied achievements of women in our industry, and this year's Rising Stars awards will be no exception. As Great Women celebrates its eighth year, the number and quality of entrants keeps getting bigger and better. It’s a privilege to be a part of this initiative.”

Joining Prasher on the judging panel are her Haymarket colleagues from Autocar’s editorial team: Jim Holder, Rachel Burgess, Mark Tisshaw and Piers Ward. Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, and Emma Butcher, head of communications at the SMMT, are also judges. The judging team is also ably assisted by executive search specialists Ennis and Co.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, added: “We are proud to join Autocar once again to celebrate the rising female stars who are channelling their passion into the automotive industry. As the Great Women initiative continues to develop, championing both the dedication and an ever-widening skill set of women within the industry, the Awards can only help encourage the brightest and best talent – inclusive of all diversities and genders – into what is one of the most exciting and fast moving of industries and one which has a tremendous future in the UK.”

The Rising Stars initiative was last held in 2021, won by Hannah Denton, then area fleet manager for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Denton beat competitors with her drive and determination, becoming the second-most successful fleet manager by volume in the whole of Volkswagen Group UK in 2018.

In 2022, Autocar’s Great Women initiative recognised the best women executives in the UK sector across 11 key categories.

Categories for the 2023 awards include: Customer Aftercare; Diversity, Equality and Inclusion; Marketing; Manufacturing; Mobility and Digital; Operations; PR and Communications; Purchasing; Sales - Retail; Sales - OEM; Vehicle Development and Apprentice.

Nominations must be registered by Friday, April 21. Winners will be invited to the awards ceremony on June 27.

Cox Automotive is also seeking nominations for its Barbara Cox Woman of the Year Award 2023, which honours inspirational women in the European automotive industry.

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