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SMMT celebrates top 100 British women in global automotive industry

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The leading British women running the global car industry have been celebrated at an Autocar awards event in central London, in partnership with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The inaugural Great British Women in the Car Industry awards identified winners in 10 categories, as well announcing the 100 most influential British women in the automotive sector.

Linda Jackson, Citroën’s Global CEO, was named the industry’s most influential woman, while senior executives from Ford Motor Company; GMC; GKN; Jaguar Land Rover; Mercedes-Benz Cars UK; and Williams F1 made up the rest of the top 10.

The initiative aims to raise the profile of the many opportunities available in the sector, from production, engineering and design, to retail, marketing and communications, as automotive businesses in Britain look to recruit right across the board.

Women in UK automotive manufacturing are outnumbered by men three to one and currently female talent accounts for just 9% of the UK’s overall engineering workforce.

British automotive manufacturing is undergoing a resurgence, with car production hitting a 10-year high in 2015 and productivity also at record levels.

Despite significant investment in training and apprenticeships, many companies are struggling to recruit new talent quickly enough to keep pace with their growth.

The Automotive Council has identified some 5,000 unfilled vacancies within the industry, 19% of which are deemed critical to operations.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Our sector faces a great challenge in recruiting more skilled people into a rapidly growing industry in the UK.

These awards clearly demonstrate the successful career paths many women have forged in the global car industry and we hope it inspires others to join our dynamic and innovative sector.”

The full list of category winners is as follows:

Executive and overall winner: Linda Jackson, Chief Executive Officer, Automobiles Citroën SA

Design: Helen Emsley, Executive Director, Global Design and User Experience, GMC

Product development: Danella Bagnall, Vehicle Programme Director, Jaguar Land Rover

Manufacturing: Josephine Payne, Global Assembly and Test Manager, Powertrain Manufacturing Engineering, Ford Motor Company

Communications: Fiona Pargeter, Head of Global PR Communications, Jaguar Land Rover

Purchasing: Julie Woodhouse, Director, Global Powertrain and Driveline Purchasing, Ford Motor Company

Sales: Angela Shepherd, Network Operations Director, Mercedes-Benz Cars UK

Marketing: Lisa Brankin, Marketing Director, Ford of Britain

Motorsport: Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, Williams F1

Human resources: Monique Carter, Group Human Resources Director, GKN

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