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IMI sponsors Automotive 30% Club’s Inspiration for Innovation Network

Lesley Woolley

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has announced its sponsorship of the Automotive 30% Club’s Inspiration for Innovation Network.

Lesley Woolley, chief operating officer of the IMI has also become a patron of the Automotive 30% Club, which has the aim of filling at least 30% of key leadership positions in its member organisations with women by 2030.

The Inspiration for Innovation Network is a group of volunteers from the member companies of the Automotive 30% Club, and a collection of schools, universities and special interest groups who come together to address gender imbalance in the automotive sector and inspire girls and women to join the industry.

Volunteers from across the spectrum, from workshop to boardroom, apprentice to director, will showcase the career paths available to women.

Woolley said: “The lack of diversity that currently exists in the motor industry is a significant contributory factor in the challenges it faces in recruitment and retention of a highly skilled workforce.

“Throughout my career I have championed initiatives that empower personal development for anyone working in the sector. So, I am tremendously excited to become a patron of the Automotive 30% Club and be involved in the Inspiration for Innovation Network.”

The IMI’s recent Diversity Task Force report has revealed that gender remains the source of the sector’s most significant representation imbalance.

Woolley added: “Recent research for the Diversity Task Force Report, which I led for the IMI, identified that children as young as 6 are already making decisions about what they want to do and be when they grow up.

“So having the chance to be involved in some of the many schools’ activities led by the Network will give me and the wider IMI community the privileged opportunity to win the hearts and minds of future automotive employees.”

Digital media will also be available including ‘Essential Skills’ episodes and ‘Career Conversation’ films which will highlight the range of competences required by and the inspiring women already in the industry.

Julia Muir, CEO of The Automotive 30% Club, said: “I’m very pleased to welcome Lesley Woolley as a Patron, and the IMI as the new sponsor of the Automotive 30% Club Inspiration for Innovation Network.

“The funding will enable us to mobilise a highly committed network of volunteers from within our member companies who will not only inspire girls and women, but also showcase to boys the strong female role models already playing a critical role in the growth of our industry.

“It will also amplify the impact we achieve by enabling us to help member companies to implement their own school’s engagement strategies."

AM’s recent News Insight feature investigated the hurdles to improved diversity and inclusion (D&I) and the benefits it can bring. 

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