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Women In Automotive: Driving Forward Diversity

The automotive sector is incredibly fun to work in – it’s dynamic, full of challenges, and always evolving. There is, however, one place I think we can really improve on – gender diversity.

Automotive is, on the whole, still a very male dominated industry, and we have a long way to go to in terms of diversity and representation. Women make up over half of the total work force in the UK, but within the automotive industry, that figure drops to just one quarter, with even less women in Senior Leadership roles. But it’s not all doom and gloom; there are incredible women, organisations, and initiatives making a real difference for the diversity agenda. So, what is being done, and how can we think outside the box to help? 

Spotlight on opportunity 

Encouraging diversity is the first step – it sounds simple, but it’s vital. And to encourage diverse talent into the industry, we need to fix the narrative of what it’s like to work in the sector – show that automotive is exciting, with a variety of different job roles which have incredible career and learning opportunities. We know this isn’t the common understanding at the moment, so the companies leading the space need to step up and do things differently.  

A great way to go about this is to use your internal communications channels, where diverse groups can meet within a safe space with others from the business. Additionally, companies can support these diverse groups by inviting DE&I speakers from various backgrounds, which will help make sure that all employees feel their voices are heard and perspectives understood by everyone within the business, including those who may not be a part of a diversity group.

Building and promoting networks of support is something that we know works, and helps your employees know that you are breaking the mould in the right way.

Cooperation is key 

The best DE&I approaches are implemented with purpose. Well planned work makes a lasting impact, so companies need to set their sights on a goal and put the pedal down, so to speak. There are a great deal of organisations, networks and groups that help to support women and other diverse groups to break through the barriers and into industries and roles which otherwise might feel unattainable or unsuitable.

Working with dedicated organisations that have the resources and expertise to support DE&I transformation can be a huge help to companies that want to see change but don’t know how to get there. But rather than just looking for help externally, it’s also worth all of us within the automotive industry working together to learn from each other’s successes and mistakes to really have the impact we want to see.

At Keyloop we strive for equal representation across our workforce. We still have a way to go but we’ve made a good start and we’re proud that 45% of our leaders at an Executive level are women, 35% of our senior leaders are female, and across the company as a whole women represent 32% of the workforce.

Doing it right  

DE&I is not just about numbers, but about the culture and values we live and breathe to create a truly inclusive work environment for employees from all walks of life – encompassing everything from gender and race to disability and neurodiversity.  We continually review our culture and processes through a system that allows employees to be honest and open on what is being done right and what needs to be done better.

It is never going to be easy to shift the status quo, but openness, cooperation and dedicated action together can help automotive push forward and help us to encourage more incredible women into the industry across the world. 

By Charlotte de Metz, Chief People Officer at Keyloop

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