Real Model interview episode #26 featuring Mariam Zahedi, Technical Manager Manufacturing at Bentley Motors and Inspiring Automotive Women Award Winner

Mariam Zahedi is a Technical Manager for Manufacturing at Bentley Motors and Mariam has been a shining light in shaping the future strategy for manufacturing within Bentley Motors.

She is tenacious in her goal to propel Bentley manufacturing forward for the next digital phase and has an excellent holistic knowledge of manufacturing and change management. She has a brilliant ability to think strategically and understand the impact to the business and is a strong leader, managing a well oiled team. Mariam is committed each and every day to work above and beyond to drive the success of her team and Bentley as a whole. She always makes sure everyone is included and her favourite method of communication is a ‘Round Table’ chat where she always makes sure the voices of others are heard and valued. Key in changing people’s perceptions, Mariam has a passion for encouraging women into STEM and in particular inspiring more women and girls to become excited about a career in manufacturing. Mariam’s nominator added: “ I want to thank her for inspiring me to own my future, and for making me recognise that I have the ability to make a massive difference with Bentley and also with my own career.”

We had the pleasure of speaking with Mariam following her recognition at the Inspiring Automotive Women Award and asked her questions based on her winning nomination.

How did you feel to be nominated by your colleagues in the Inspiring Automotive Women Awards 2020 and how did it feel to be one of our winners?

The nomination came as a complete shock. It was great to feel like I had made an impact on someone and inspired them.

What is your job and what does it involve? 

I am the manufacturing systems manager at Bentley. Part of this role is ensuring the right standards and processes are in place. Enabling my team to be able to perform at their best, to positively contribute towards the 2025 manufacturing vision.

How long have you worked in the sector?

9 years

What do you like best about your job?

From a process side being able to think creatively and strategically about how we can improve. From a people side, I love coaching and helping people or teams reach their full potential. I find it really exciting when I get to be a part of an individual or teams development and helping them realize their full potential and achieve their goals. 

What are your future aspirations?

Keep progressing, learning and inspiring others.

Can you name a woman in automotive that inspires you and why?

After winning the award I learned who had made the nomination and it actually came from someone who inspires me Phoebe Jay. Phoebe joined our team recently and as an individual she is thoughtful, positive, dedicated and hardworking but she is also full of energy, passionate about automotive and brings fun. She probably doesn’t know that her ways inspired me and re-ignite the fire and passion I have for what I do and the automotive industry.  

Which word or phrase do you most overuse?

Why & how 

What is your worst trait?

 Wanting to fix everything in one go

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who made a positive impact

What advice would you give to women who are wanting to progress in the sector?

Believe in yourself and just go for it! Don’t be your own blocker. Reach out to others for support and guidance. We can all learn from each other and help each other grow.

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