“I’m proud to become a Silver Member of The Automotive 30% Club. I believe in developing a level playing field to help nurture the best talent to thrive in our industry. The motor trade has evolved at a rapid pace over the last few years, highlighting areas of inequality, but I feel we still have a long road to walk and senior leaders have a responsibility to help shine a light on these conversations.”
Education is the key to achieving these goals and we hope to dispel outdated philosophy and stereotyping, making us a stronger, more inclusive industry.
I come from a motor-trading family that has strived to evolve the industry since the 1950’s, not only to become the best employers but to also deliver a true world-class customer service. My grandfather, Vernon Ford (founder of Fords of Winsford), and my parents, Alison and Graham Bell (founders of Available Car) all believed in this ethos and I’m proud to continue their stewardship of Available Car, developing that thinking to align with today’s world. This is very much something I hope to pass on to the next generation to continue.
We have already started to implement change in both our pay structure and how we recruit new staff in order to attract the very best talent in the industry. Last year we moved away from a commission-based pay structure within our showroom to help foster the best working conditions for our employees, while simultaneously allowing them to offer an unrivalled hassle-free sales experience. Implementing this allows everyone from every level upwards to help drive business performance and make the best decisions for the customer.
After taking over as CEO in 2019, the company had only 14% female employees. As of January 2022, we have increased this to 17% overall, with 20% of leadership roles now being held by female staff members and 50% at board level. We are committed to developing our talent by running development courses for our management team and helping to nurture our up-and-coming leaders with our ‘future stars’ program. We are also in the process of developing a new course for empowering female staff within our business during 2022.
I’m enthusiastic to continue our progress made so far and look forward to collaborating with other senior leaders in the industry to drive the motor trade towards a more equal and diverse future.