The Automotive 30% Club’s year in review for 2019

The Automotive 30% Club’s year in review: here’s what we have achieved in 2019 with the support of our generous sponsors, Toyota, VW, Jardine and Auto Trader. 

As is customary at this time of year, we reflect on what the Automotive 30% Club has achieved in 2019. It has been a busy and productive year!

Launching the Inspiring E-Zine

July saw the launch of the Inspiring E-Zine, which brings together, amongst other things, interviews with members of the Automotive 30% Club, quality content and features and news of events. Our members also have access to up-to-date advice and guidance from experienced automotive executives and other professionals around creating an inclusive workplace culture through our podcasts and upcoming webinars.

Rachel Shepherd, General Manager, HR & Facilities at Toyota (GB) Plc, sponsor of Inspiring E-Zine, explained why Toyota chose to get involved:

‘A key question for us is how we enable people to be the best they can be. Networking, collaboration and learning from each other is so important in our industry. The Inspiring E-zine is a quick and easy way into networking, especially for our junior members: it sparks conversations.

Working with the Automotive 30% Club to make this happen has been great. It has been easy! The team has vision and connections, and our monthly phone-calls to discuss direction and content has meant that we feel well-informed.’

Inspiring Automotive Women Day 2019 Outreach Event

Back in May, we held our fourth annual IAW Day, at VW Group National Learning Centre in Milton Keynes. This inspirational day event was designed to allow female pupils to gain a greater understanding of the variety of jobs within the automotive industry and was attended by 98 pupils from 8 schools, who engaged with volunteer speakers from 15 member companies of the Automotive 30% Club. 

This year, May’s event was followed by a further outreach element, whereby 24 schools were visited by female volunteers from across our member organisations to speak to girls about employment opportunities within the automotive sector. 

We organised this event, thanks to VW’s generous sponsorship, to counter the assumption that the automotive industry is simply about old fashioned vehicle mechanics, and to allow young women to see first-hand how the industry is transforming in terms of electronic and electrical technology and digital sales innovation, as well as adopting a more inclusive workplace culture.

Penny Burnett, HR Director at Volkswagen Group UK, spoke about the event, and why VW decided they had to sponsor us. She explained that VW is keen to attract more young women into automotive, to demonstrate how the industry has changed and continues to change. VW sponsored the IAW events to help to reach students at a crucial point as they start to think about careers, to introduce them to the range of jobs available and to challenge gender stereotypes and assumptions. Penny gave the example of one session which involved looking under the bonnet of a car, which showed students that so much technical testing is now technology-driven, and done via a laptop. She concluded that IAW Day showed that we are talking about automotive in a very different way to in the past: we are transforming products and digital platforms and looking at a whole new landscape.

Penny confirmed, too, that our follow-up outreach visits were well-received, and that the overwhelmingly positive feedback we gathered from teachers and students volunteers following the IAW Day and the subsequent outreach visits demonstrated their value. 

On working with us, Penny said that she loved working with the team and explained that it was a really uplifting experience and a brilliant event to be involved with. She felt that we made a difference to young people who are starting to think about their careers.

Inspiring Automotive Women Awards

In October we were delighted to hold our first Automotive 30% Club Inspiring Automotive Women Awards. We hosted 147 guests from 13 of our member organisations at a black tie event which took place on October 3rd at London’s RAC Club on Pall Mall. The event was kindly sponsored by Jardine Motors Group. 

Prior to the event, we received 235 nominations for 176 individual women. Our 7 independent judges selected 31 winners from across 13 of our member companies. Although faced with a huge challenge presented with so many Inspiring Automotive Women, the judges nonetheless came to a unanimous decision to name Paula Cooper, Director ConsumerOne at Toyota GB Plc, as our overall Inspiring Automotive Woman of the year.

Clare Martin, Group HR Director at Jardine Motors Group explained her organisation’s motivation for getting involved with and sponsoring the event, explaining that the Inspiring Automotive Women Awards fits perfectly with Jardine’s inclusivity agenda, which is about how to create an inclusive working environment, and then raising awareness of and celebrating the people who contribute to this. She went on to say that sponsoring this event for the Automotive 30% Club gives us all a platform to shout about the brilliance of people who actively take part in activities to address the gender imbalance in the automotive industry. Jardine Motors may have hit the target to have 30% female managers in our business, Clare confirms, but she believes that there is still much more work to be done both internally and supporting the industry as a whole to drive greater awareness around automotive being a great sector to work in.

The Automotive 30% Club Website

We were proud and excited to announce Auto Trader as our partner sponsor this year. Their sponsorship allowed us to launch our new website in March 2019 and has had an undeniably positive impact on the results we have been able to achieve. 

Auto Trader’s sponsorship has allowed us at the Automotive 30% Club to design and develop our website. It also includes funding its day-to-day running, as well as covering the costs involved in managing our social media, and of administering and liaising with members. 

This means that, since March, the Automotive 30% club has increased its network of members from 23 to 39. 

Our new website lists our members and showcases sponsors and provides case studies and testimonials for our 30 by 30 Enabler companies. It also has full details about our conferences and our Inspiring Automotive Women Activities activities and also features information about how to get involved with our newly launched Outreach Network kindly sponsored this year by CDK Global. A private members’ resources page has lots of useful reports, research and guidance.

On LinkedIn, we have increased our followers by 86% taking our total number of followers to 1583 since March. We’ve seen 244,898 views on 231 posts published on Linkedin since March, which equates to 6 posts per week.

Catherine Faiers, COO of Autotrader, spoke being our partner sponsor, explaining that as a tech company operating in the automotive industry, Autotrader is committed to helping to change traditionally male-dominated industries into places where women can play a more important role. She went on to say that whilst Autotrader’s PLC board has a 50-50 gender split, and 40% of their staff are women, they recognise the need to continue to drive not just gender diversity, but all types of diversity. She points out that organisations need to change to attract talent that will push boundaries. 

Catherine also told us that working with the Automotive 30% Club has been instrumental in helping to achieve Autotrader’s ambitions, and to have a lasting impact. Through the ongoing collaboration between the Automotive 30% Club and Autotrader, she believes we will gain bigger momentum to create future change.

We are hugely grateful to all of our sponsors for helping us to have such a significant impact over the past year. If you would be interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Julia Muir, CEO Gaia Innovation Ltd and Founder of the Automotive 30% Club: julia@gaiainnovation.com


The Automotive 30% Club is powered by Gaia Innovation.

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