Seán Kemple, CEO of Motor UK and Retail Finance Ireland [photograph]
“I’m proud to be a Silver Member of the Automotive 30% Club. At Close Brothers Motor Finance, we’re acutely aware of the male-dominant nature of our industry, and we want to play our part in changing that.
To do that, we continue to champion the diversity and inclusion agenda, in our business, and across the industry, and we’re confident we can create a more inclusive workplace for all.”

Our focus on equality

I’m passionate about actively championing for the increased representation of women in the automotive sector. In direct response to gender inequality within our Motor business, we launched, and I chaired, our Women in Motor Forum, previously Women in Sales, in January 2020, with the aim of tackling the gender imbalance within parts of our business, particularly Sales.

The Forum has created a shift of perspective across the business, having initiated activities to empower women and raise awareness of the challenges to gender equality.

Our Women in Motor Forum has hosted panel discussions with leaders across the group and drawn on the insight and advice of external speakers at our Forum meetings. We continue to work closely with the Automotive 30% Club to engage and support female leaders and play an active role in their campaigns and outreach programmes.

We listen, and then we act

From small tactical changes, such as the language we use in job descriptions and the imagery we use on our website, to more strategic policy changes for females returning from maternity leave and facing symptoms of the menopause and perimenopause, we’re leaving no stone unturned in our effort to create parity for all.

We also champion a reverse mentoring programme that pairs senior leaders with colleagues from underrepresented groups in our business. This helps senior leaders understand what working at Close Brothers is like for them, and enables our leaders to take responsibility for driving changes to ensure our business delivers against its vision and values.

Becoming better allies

By working together and raising awareness of the opportunities and challenges we face, together we can drive change, right across our business.

This can be seen in our Meno Chat Forum. This is a group set up by our colleagues, initially helping them support one another and share experiences and advice regarding the menopause and perimenopause. More recently, the Forum has focussed on raising awareness amongst all colleagues in our business, with more and more males getting directly involved and helping to become better allies.

The Meno Chat Forum was recently recognised as a Finalist for ‘Best Support Group’ at The Menopause Friendly Employer Awards 2023.

Our journey continues

We’re proud that because of the increased exposure of our Women in Motor and Meno Forums, alongside our reverse mentoring, Close Brothers Motor Finance has seen an increase in female representation in the application process for roles over the past four years.

We remain focussed on increasing the momentum we’ve already achieved, with a particular focus on nurturing female talent into middle management and leadership roles.

Personally, I’m incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made so far, but I remain focussed on ensuring we do more to make our industry more equitable for future generations.

As ever, we’re confident that through collaboration with the Automotive 30% Club and its members, we’ll help to change the game in the automotive industry.