In order to drive the agenda of diversity, inclusion and gender equality, becoming a Patron of the Automotive 30% Club is a commitment from Astrid towards the support of this important societal shift.

By getting personally involved, she wants to actively influence and inspire others to get on the path towards a culture of inclusiveness.

Astrid firmly believes that it is important that gender equality isn’t perceived purely as a female or minority initiative; she enthusiastically wants for everyone to get involved and increase the focus on inclusiveness as a whole.

She was first drawn to the automotive sector not only because she has always liked cars, but because of her interest in technology and engineering. Astrid started her career at Mercedes Benz and has worked in the automotive sector ever since. She has held a range of roles in IT, business, finance, digital and human resources where she has always focused
on innovation, driving change and having a positive impact on people.

She has now been at Bentley Motors for two years and combines the leadership of Bentley’s human resources function with the delivery of the company’s digital transformation and IT services.

Astrid believes that the different perspectives that women and minority groups bring are extremely important, as diversity has proven to foster more innovative, creative solutions and higher company performance. This is amongst others possible due to challenging perceptions and creating a more open-minded working culture. Overall and inclusive culture brings out the best in everyone, and therefore is ultimately in everyone’s best interest.

She comments: “The automotive sector has traditionally been very male-dominated, but there is clear evidence that businesses with a gender balance, perform higher than less diverse companies.”

“The same research suggests that a gender balance helps improve access to future talent, enhances decision-making and is associated with deeper levels of consumer insight and employee engagement.”

Whilst working towards the Automotive 30% Club’s aim of having at least 30% of women in leadership positions by 2030, Astrid will continue her focus of developing Bentley Motors’ diversity policy, which includes diversity training and establishing diversity networks.

Astrid will ensure these initiatives continue to have a strong profile and through her personal involvement, she will continue to focus on encouraging more girls and women inside and outside of the business to become involved in STEM Dr Astrid Fontaine, Member of the Board, People, Digitalisation and IT and Patron of the Automotive 30% Club and the automotive sector.