UK Automotive 30% Club launches outreach network to tackle gender stereotypes and inspire young women to join the sector

We are delighted to announce the launch of the UK Automotive 30% Club Outreach Network, proudly sponsored by CDK Global. 

We are building on the success of the UK Automotive 30% club’s annual Inspiring Automotive Women Day 2019, which saw our members volunteering at an outreach event with students from schools across the country, inspiring young women to learn more about the wide-ranging career opportunities in the Automotive and Technology Sectors. 

We will now, with the support of CDK Global, continue to develop our diverse UK–wide volunteering network of male and female automotive employees who range from CEOs to apprentices. In addition to the activities we already run with state secondary schools, we are excited to be engaging with primary schools, independent girls’ schools, FE colleges, universities, and girls’ and women’s networks.  

The UK Automotive 30% Club ‘30 by 30 strategy’ has four pillars to help us to achieve our goal of addressing the gender imbalance in our industry: Reach Out, Welcome In, Pull Through and Hold On.  Helping our members to reach out to youngsters through volunteering with our Schools Outreach Network, therefore, is a hugely important part of our mission. 

Stuart Miles, Managing Director of CDK Global comments:

“For students of all ages there is a lot of choice and pressure to make the right decisions. To support them, we are keen to provide as much clarity as we can. For young minds, it can be hard for students to decipher what roles and opportunities exist in technology and automotive. At CDK Global, we believe it is important to broaden students’ knowledge on the skills required and the breadth of opportunities open to them. For female students especially, it’s vital that we provide a clear perspective on how CDK Global and our industry can create exciting and rewarding careers.”  

Recent research around the impact of visiting speakers to schools, carried out by charity Education and Employers, confirms the value of providing young people with meaningful encounters with the work of work. Not only does this serve to broaden youngsters’ horizons, raise their aspirations and thus increase their motivation to learn, but it also helps students to understand that developing transferable life skills is as important as gaining academic qualifications. Involvement in programmes like our Outreach Network also allows pupils to apply knowledge they have gained in the classroom to real world settings. 

It is also interesting to note that the research found that school children are more likely to heed advice given by an employer than by their teachers or their parents. 

One student, who attended a talk by an external speaker from the world of work, contributed to the research by commenting that “as a female student who feels like it’s always the guys who make it to the top, it was so inspiring to see a woman with a family in that position, despite societal expectations.”

Over the next academic year, the club aims to fulfil 60 outreach engagements in total, facilitating 6000 meaningful encounters between students and representatives from the Automotive and Technology Sectors, be they female role models or ‘male advocates’. We believe that challenging stereotypes is everyone’s responsibility, and we are delighted that so many of our Automotive 30% Club members are men who have committed to reaching out to youngsters and creating a female pipeline in this way. 

Over the coming weeks, we will be working to match schools to volunteer members, to participate in outreach activities that could include motivational speeches, career speed networking sessions and large cross-sector inspirational events. We will work with schools and volunteers to find the best fit, supporting both parties to ensure that students reap optimum benefit from their contact with professional experts. 

We are excited to be launching our new outreach initiative and look forward to engaging with our members over the coming weeks, working together to inspire young people to aspire and succeed.

If your company is a member of the UK Automotive 30% Club and you would like to join the Outreach Network please contact our volunteer coordinator at Danielle@automotive30club.co.uk

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