Our Second Annual Conference (2017)

2nd November 2017, Toyota Academy

Automotive Leaders Come Together To Share Ideas On Closing The Gender Gap.

The UK Automotive 30% Club hosted its second annual conference at Toyota Academy.

Gaia Innovation’s CEO, Julia Muir, is also the founder of the UK Automotive 30% Club – an automotive working group with a goal of having women in 30% of key leadership positions by 2030.

On November 2nd 2017 Julia Muir brought the second annual conference of this progressive group of automotive leaders to the Toyota Academy in Derby. Over 70 automotive leaders came together to share ideas, including influential speakers from retail and manufacturing automotive organisations.

The exciting theme of the conference was ‘reaching 30 by 30’, with the aim of filling at least 30% of key leadership positions in the member organisations with women by 2030.

The Conference

The UK Automotive 30% Club annual conference was highly regarded for its participatory style, with a range of educator-led presentations and interactive panel sessions, as well as keynote speeches led by inspirational leaders from the automotive industry. Key topics discussed on the day included:

  • The Imposter Phenomenon – Dr. Terri Simpkin, Senior Lecturer, Anglia Ruskin University
  • Closing the Gender Gap – Ingrid Waterfield, Director, People Consulting, KPMG
  • Actions to Reach 30 by 30 – Duncan Movassaghi, Director of Skoda, Volkswagen Group UK
  • How to make recruitment processes more attractive and how to retain women – Katie Ward, Corporate Sales Manager, Working Mums
  • Gender Intelligent Leadership Research – Rachel Short, Director at Why Women Work, Steering Committee Member of The 30% Club
  • Building an Inclusive Culture – Sofia Kouzinopoulou, HR Director for EMEA GMS, Facebook

Panel Discussions

Julia Muir hosted two insightful and thought provoking panel discussions, encouraging the audience to share ideas on ‘reaching 30 by 30’.

Panel 1 – 30:30:30 Campaign with Speakers for Schools – Review and Legacy

The aim of the 30:30:30 campaign is to inspire young women to consider careers in the automotive industry. Tips and techniques were shared on how to effectively engage with schools.
Included: Karen Hilton (Carwow), Tracy Crump (Bentley), Ashley Hodges (Speakers for Schools), George Sharp (Inchcape Retail), Kate Thompson (Volkswagen Group UK) and Darcey Pagin (Rossington All Saints Academy)

Panel 2 – How to reach 30 by 30

The second panel then discussed the actions to be taken to reach 30 by 30, and how organisations can overcome resistance or fear of change.
Included: Nigel McMinn (Lookers), Paula Cooper (Toyota GB), Simon Bottomley (Thurlow Nunn) and Laura Brailey (Mazda)


By attending the conference, guests learnt, participated, connected, contributed and networked with those sharing the same aspirations in increasing gender diversity in the workplace, with the aim to reach ’30 by 30’. Most importantly, guests went home inspired to try new approaches, enabled and equipped to be more innovative and improve gender diversity within their organisations.
Darcey Pagin, a sixth form student at Rossington All Saints Academy, was shadowing Julia that week as one of the 30 female students taking part in the 30:30:30 Campaign. She participated in the panel discussion, and shared her opinion of how the industry can attract more female students to automotive careers.

Darcy summarises her experience at the conference: “A day of being inspired by empowering women who push the boundaries of gender stereotypes. Paving the way for young girls, such as myself, wanting to get into male dominated industries. Being able to see men there, who weren’t just showing their support for the 30by30 campaign by just attending the conference, but by hearing how they’re actively changing the automotive industry gave me hope for the future.”

The event was managed and directed by Nicola Thompson, Client Engagement Director at Gaia Innovation.

These people said…

Rob Giles, Director, HR & Corporate Operations, Toyota GB comments: “It was honestly one of the best conferences that I have attended due to the great speakers and guests. The Gaia team are to be congratulated for organising a great event, and for the growing success and progress of the Automotive 30% Club. I am very proud to be an associate.”

“It was truly fantastic. There were brilliant speakers and topics discussed, with great attendance and support from the industry at such a wonderful venue… really inspiring day!” Kelly Dalwood, Chair, ABP Women’s Automotive Group.

“The conference was excellent and the afternoon speakers were outstanding.” Clare Martin, HR Director, Jardine Motors Group

Julia Muir, CEO of Gaia Innovation concludes: “I am extremely pleased that our conference was so well attended by many of the leading figures in the UK automotive industry, and to see that our members are so dedicated to the cause of employing more women in their organisations. Our UK Automotive 30% Club membership continues to grow, and I would welcome applications from more businesses from the wider automotive sector.”


Ingrid Waterfield, Director, People Consulting, KPMG

Ingrid works in the National Markets business of KPMG, working with clients to address their workforce issues. She led the “Cracking the Code” gender diversity research on the health of the female pipeline in UK organisations in conjunction with The 30% Club and YSC. Ingrid is now working with clients on Diversity & Inclusion strategies and the new Gender Pay Gap reporting requirements.

Katie Ward, Corporate Sales Manager, Working Mums

Katie Ward has been with Working Mums for over 8 years heading up their business development and corporate functions for advertising, events and sponsorship. She works with a variety of organisations where gender diversity is a big focus, along with a desire to attract skilled professional women into their organisations.

Dr. Terri Simpkin, Senior Lecturer, Anglia Ruskin University

Dr. Terri Simpkin is engaged in a full portfolio of eclectic and rewarding professional activity. She is also the Higher and Further Education Principal at CNet and Managing Director of Mischief Business Engineering (UK and Australia). Her current research investigates the impact of the impostor phenomenon on the careers of women and how it may be contributing to the lack of a robust female presence at board and senior organisations into the future.

Sofia Kouzinopoulou, HR Director for EMEA GMS, Facebook

Sofia has been with Facebook for 4 years and is currently the HR Director for all Global Marketing Solutions teams in EMEA. She is a close business partner to all EMEA Country Directors and the EMEA GMS leadership team. Sofia previously worked as a Human Capital Consultant as well as a HR leader for Fremantle (Bertelsmann Group) and Yahoo.

Rachel Short, Director at Why Women Work, Steering Committee Member of The 30% Club

Rachel is a Psychologist, Executive Coach and Founder of Why Women Work, a social enterprise to accelerate gender diverse corporate leadership. Rachel also regularly presents and publishes on women in work and 21st century leadership. Rachel is also a part of the automotive working group of the 30% Club as a Steering Committee Member, as well as Julia Muir.

Contact details

Follow us to engage with the #30by30 discussion or to get in touch:

  • Twitter: @Auto30Club https://twitter.com/Auto30Club
  • LinkedIn: Automotive Thirty Club
  • www.Automotive30Club.co.uk
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