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'Leadership support' key to improving diversity, equity and inclusion in automotive

The Women Automotive Network

The Women Automotive Network has urged companies to have leadership support and career development opportunities in place to improve automotive career desirability for a more diverse workforce.

Well over half (58%) of attendees at the network’s winter meet up believed that the responsibility to support and promote diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) starts at management level, while 67% said that they could only name one-to-five inspiring women in the automotive sector.

The network said more awareness needs to be driven through marketing and publicity marketing to improve sector desirability.

A spokesperson at the Women Automotive Network said: "Whilst diversity in the automotive sector has certainly improved this past couple of years, it's quite apparent that we've still got a long way to go.

“If more automotive organisations and local governments invested in better, larger scale marketing and publicity programs to drive diversity awareness in the automotive industry, more organisations would jump on the diversity bandwagon and create new diversity programs from within.”

The Women Automotive Network's conclusions come as Cox Automotive called for nominations for the 2022 Barbara Cox Woman of the Year Award. Nominations will close on January 21, so automotive firms are urged to put their female leaders forward now.

A new category in the 2022 AM Awards - also opened for entries this month - also seeks to recognise UK motor retailers which are working hard to improve the diversity and inclusion in their workforce.

The Leader In Diversity And Inclusion Award will champion fantastic examples of the work being done in the automotive retail industry to look after staff in the best possible way and to attract and retain people of all abilities, genders, race and backgrounds who bring the skills and attitudes required by a modern motor retailer.

The network said that promoting more diverse leaders in an organisation would create more inspiring women in the automotive sector.

Watch: Change the Game: The leader’s route map to a winning gender-balanced business

The network also said that more needs to be done to promote automotive careers from a young age, as only 3.9% of participants desired a career in the automotive sector from their childhood, onwards.

It said that automotive career awareness should start at school, this could mean including automotive initiatives during lessons or during work experience or reaching out to get local Governments and local automotive organisations involved in school-led outreach programs.

The Women Automotive Network provides a platform for diversity and technology discussions through their online community and events.

2023 AM Awards special report

2023 AM Awards special report

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