This week I have updated the Automotive 30% Club aim to be:
“to fill at least 30% of key leadership roles with diverse women in our member organisations by 2030”.
This makes a clear statement that our gender balance campaign supports the progression of women of all types. Although our intent was always to be inclusive of all women, I feel it is necessary to make it explicit in our stated aim, and I pledge to do more to ensure no woman is excluded.
Remember that women, at 51% of the population, are not a homogenous group. Women have multiple ethnicities and social backgrounds. They’re not all heterosexual, and are not all mothers. When focusing on gender it is easy to fall into the trap of picturing the female mirror image of the default white middle class male on the board or in the executive committee, but we know that leadership teams with diverse members are more successful. We must ensure that when we aim for a gender balance, we must aim for it to be achieved through diverse women.
There is an indisputable business case for diverse gender balanced businesses.
The McKinsey & Company May 2020 report “Diversity Wins – How Inclusion Matters” found that companies with more than 30% women on executive teams were 25% more likely to experience above-average profitability than peer companies in the fourth quartile.
Importantly however they also found that the business case for gender balanced ethnic and cultural diversity is extremely strong, with companies with ethnic and cultural diversity on executive teams outperforming their less diverse peers by a huge 36%. The combination of a better gender balance, with ethnic and cultural diversity, within an inclusive and cohesive culture, is a powerful one.
Women’s equality and gender balance campaigns in the UK have historically been led by white women like me, leading to the possible exclusion of women of colour, who have even fewer relatable business role models and experience different and often increased challenges due to the intersectionality of their ethnicity and gender. I will be an ally and advocate for these women, and LGBTQ+ and differently-able women, and I will give them a platform to speak for themselves and their voices will be heard.
I commit to celebrate the full array of diverse women in our sector and make them more visible through our Inspiring e-zine publications and Automotive 30% Club activities. I will encourage all types of women to join our Inspiring Super-Network, a supportive grassroots movement and friendship group for women across the sector and beyond.
I hope that you will all join me and support this further enhancement of our campaign.
Article written by Julia Muir, CEO Gaia Innovation & Founder of the Automotive 30% Club