On Tuesday 8th March, we celebrated International Women’s Day, with this year’s theme being #BreakTheBias. We saw lots of our member organisations getting involved, with a range of social media campaigns and events to support the day.
But, as the Automotive 30% Club we want to ask ‘Are we breaking the bias?’ in an event that reflects upon the impact of International Women’s Day 2022. Join us on Friday 25th March from 11am-12pm, where we will discuss how we can continue #BreakingTheBias within the automotive industry. Julia Muir, Founder of the Automotive 30% Club will be joined on a panel by five inspiring women from within the sector to discuss the impact, followed by an open Q&A for attendees to have their say! To register for the event, please fill out your details using the link here.
In this article, we want to reflect on some of the activities that happened within our member organisations in support of #BreakTheBias, and tell you about our upcoming event, exclusive to Inspiring e-zine subscribers, which will ask ‘Are we really breaking the bias?’.
Firstly, our Patron Member, Cox Automotive’s ‘Women with Drive’ Network held a hybrid event as part of their aim to celebrate the work of women in the automotive industry. Women with Drive is an inclusive movement built to support female achievements, aspirations, and successes, with a ‘think big’ attitude and a space for every voice.
The event began with an interactive leadership & development workshop session, with Lynne Copp, Founder of The Worklife Company, followed by the announcement of the winner of the Barbara Cox “Woman of the Year” Award. Attendees of the event, along with hundreds of delegates who joined via video link from throughout Europe were also joined by Jill Campbell, Chief People and Operations Officer at Cox Enterprises who spoke about her career journey within Cox Automotive and her passion for equality, diversity, and inclusion.
Jill spoke about taking action, and the importance of seeking a career sponsor. She added: ‘I think its imperative for women in high leadership positions to seek out some women that they believe will go far and take them under their wing’.
Alison Fisher, HR Director at Cox Automotive hosted a fireside chat with Barbara Cox “Woman of the Year” shortlist. A huge congratulations to Claire Perkins, Group Academy Manager at Stoneacre Motor Group, Nichola Hobson, General Manager, Fleet Operations at TrustFord, Ciara Raison, Commercial Director at V12 Vehicle Finance, Emma Loveday, UK Commercial Manager, and Fleet Risk Consultant at AA DriveTech, Nicola Gilda, Group Strategy and Operations Director at Peoples Ford and ‘Woman of the Year’, Caroline Burnell, Head of Marketing and Communications at eStar Truck and Van!
Also taking place on the day, Silver Member of the Club, Enterprise Holdings hosted engaging activities around this year’s theme #BreakTheBias. At their European Headquarters they hosted a virtual and on-campus day. ‘We were excited to be visited by Georgie Twigg MBE, former Team GB international hockey player and Olympic gold medalist. Georgie joined us as our keynote and shared her journey on how she overcame challenges and demonstrated resilience through her career to date.’ This was then followed by a panel discussion with employees from across the business, and was followed by the introduction of Enterprise’s #BreakTheBias toolkit, exploring six biases commonly faced by women – with some great tips on how to overcome these, as well as how to be an ally for others.
The Talent Acquisition team hosted a #BreakTheBias event, where students had the opportunity to hear from women from diverse industries such as IT, Engineering, Law, Public Sector and Automotive. The goal was to raise the confidence levels and aspirations of students who would be transitioning into the workplace. This event was live-streamed on all social channels too with fantastic engagement.
As part of a broader celebration, Solus Accident Repair Centres encouraged colleagues to share their experiences of #BreakTheBias and to highlight the women who inspire them. They had some fantastic engagement celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality. One great example is Steph Muckle’s story. She recently joined Solus Accident Repair, training as a Repair Consultant and was one of the team who inspired many of the SAR team with her take on International Women’s Day.
Steph says: “We need to promote and shout about the ladies (and men) who work in a male-dominated (or female-dominated) environment and get them to share their experience. A lot of people are scared to make the move purely because of people’s opinions and perceptions but, if more people talk about it, more people will be interested to read about it and give them that confidence and motivation they need to take the leap. We need to talk about it, promote it and demonstrate it to influence others.”
Steph goes on to speak about her own inspiration: “My main inspiration in life has been my mum. She has supported me through thick and thin (and still does). She pretends to be interested in cars (when she really isn’t) and was the one who fully stood by me when I chose to be a Panel Beater.”
A huge thank you to each of our members who helped to #BreakTheBias, together we can change the game, and make automotive an inclusive environment for all the thrive. If you’re interested in asking ‘Are we breaking the bias?’ please do join us at 11 am on Friday 25th March to reflect upon the impact of International Women’s Day 2022. Register your interest here.