Heycar is hosting a panel event with women from across the automotive industry on Thursday (March 10) to raise awareness of this year’s International Women’s Day theme ‘Break the Bias’.
Currently, women represent only 20% of the automotive workforce and at the executive level this drops to less than 10%, according to research from Deloitte.
For the automotive sector, Heycar says that a more diverse workforce will help make car dealerships more inclusive for customers and could help address the skills shortage the industry faces in transitioning from conventional petrol and diesel cars to electric vehicles ahead of the Government’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030.
Moyosola Fujamade, national contract hire relationship manager at Kia, said: “I believe that we work within one of the world’s most exciting industries and with the ever increasing focus on electrification and technology, we should be at the top of job seekers' preferred sectors but at times we are not, owing to a perceived and often factual lack of diversity.
"How do we go about becoming more attractive to individuals that have a different perspective because the opportunities are there? Diversity is crucial and this year’s International Women’s Day theme of ‘Break the Bias’ only amplifies this discussion point.”
Heycar’s panel discussion, which will take place 12-1pm and will be streamed live online, will bring together influential women from the automotive industry to address these issues.
The panel will discuss how to challenge bias which may prevent women from progressing their automotive careers or discourage women from entering the sector in the first place.
Karen Hilton, chief commercial officer at Heycar, will be moderating the event and the panel will include: Fiona Howarth, CEO of Octopus Electric Vehicles; Katie Black, joint head of the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV); Kirsten Stagg, head of marketing at Skoda UK; and Moyosola Fujamade, national contract hire relationship manager at Kia
Hilton said: “At Heycar we’re passionate about promoting positive change in the automotive sector.
“We’ve been recognised as an inclusive employer and appreciate the benefits of delivering equality among employees. But we know there is more work to do within our organisation and the industry as a whole.
“We hope this event will showcase the fantastic roles in the automotive sector and give attendees some useful takeaways to effect change in their organisations and the wider industry.”
Howarth believes that the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) will bring many job opportunities.
She said: “The EV revolution is the biggest change our roads have seen in 100 years. With it comes great cars, low running costs and huge carbon savings. It also brings great career opportunities and jobs that are full of purpose.
“With more viewpoints and experiences, we can create better products and services that will help us look after our planet. Having more women across the car sector can help us accelerate the switch to electric; and give them a platform for a great career.
“Diversity is key, and it is not restricted to gender. As a growing organisation, we'd love more applicants from all walks of life.”
To register for free for the Heycar panel discussion, click here.