THE Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) says that a strong gender imbalance is to the detriment of the automotive industry.
A report issued in support of International Women in Engineering Day (June 23), found only 20% of jobs in the automotive retail industry currently occupied by women.
Certainly in the leasing broker sector – with some notable exceptions – it is highly male dominated.
Nevertheless, the sector faces a brighter future with the news that more businesses are increasing their employment of women in more senior positions within the business – demonstrating that females certainly have a role to play in the motor industry.
For example, Linda Jackson, Citroen Global CEO, was recently named the the most influential British woman working in the motor industry by Autocar magazine.
As the professional body for the sector, the IMI is calling on all leaders across the industry to help raise awareness of the career opportunities available to women.
Lesley Woolley, COO at the IMI, said:
“As a woman in what is perceived to be a male-dominated business, I’m proud to be a COO in a business that takes gender equality very seriously.
“I and the other women employed at the Institute of the Motor Industry form part of a 60% female majority, representing the changing face of our sector.
“It’s widely accepted these days that a gender balance in the modern workplace delivers better business results, if this balance is also reflected within a senior management team then the culture and performance of a business are better aligned. I have witnessed this at first hand.
“We have a great sector where women can carve a successful career like never before; the exciting opportunities driven by technological advancement increase these career opportunities on an almost exponential basis, so I welcome women thinking about the motor industry to join us to shape its future.”
The Autocar top 100 British women in the automotive sector
Executive and overall winner
Linda Jackson, chief executive officer, Citroën
Helen Emsley, design director, General Motors
Elizabeth Hill, chief product engineer, Jaguar Land Rover
Fiona Pargeter, customer experience director, Jaguar Land Rover
Helen Foord, head of government relations and public policy, PSA Groupe
Josephine Payne, plant manager, Ford Motor Company
Sue Slaughter, director of purchasing, Ford of Europe
Sales – Brand
Rachael Thompson, sales director, Mercedes-Benz Cars UK
Sales – Retail
Diana Mackinnon, general manager, Lexus Edgware
Michelle Roberts, marketing director, BMW Group UK
Clare Martin, group HR director, Jardine Motors Group