Auto Trader has joined forces with the Automotive 30% Club to help create a more positive culture for all women within the industry.
A new series of bi-monthly webinars – entitled Courageous Conversations – will feature a panel of automotive thought leaders and experts, and Marshall Motor Group chief executive Daksh Gupta and franchise director Carole Merry will be among the guests for the first episode on Tuesday, August 4.
Joining them and host Auto Trader sales director Rebecca Clark will be Auto Trader chief operating officer Catherine Faiers plus senior campaign manager Rebecca Nassiri along with Automotive 30% Club founder Julia Muir.
The topic will be ‘The intersectionality of women in automotive – what is it and why should we care?’ and there will also be time during the one-hour show for an interactive Q&A with viewers.
The Automotive 30% Club aims to fill at least 30 per cent of key leadership positions in member organisations with women by 2030, and Gupta said: ‘At Marshall we have been actively working on diversity and inclusion for five or six years now and are really starting to see many positive results coming through.
‘Whilst we continue to learn and still have more we can do, I feel we have momentum in our business and I am proud to say that 25 per cent of our plc and operating board are women.’
Intersectionality is defined by the Cambridge Dictionary as ‘the way in which different types of discrimination…are linked to and affect each other’, and Gupta stated: ‘However, it’s not just about gender diversity for me, it’s also about intersectionality, which is something personally close to my heart coming from an ethnic minority background.
‘I ask myself why am I the only person from an ethnic minority running a large dealer group? In fact, I am the only one in the top 50 largest groups. That cannot be right nor can it be right there is only one woman either.
‘We need to do more to address this, not just because it’s the right thing to do, it’s common sense for our business too. This is an amazing industry and one I know everyone involved in is really proud to be a part of.
‘It’s our jobs as leaders of the industry to pave the way for the future, which is why I am involved in programmes such as this.’
Faiers said: ‘Gender diversity, and diversity and inclusion more broadly, is something that we care passionately about at Auto Trader.
‘At such a challenging time we believe the need to attract and retain the very best talent who not only bring fresh thinking and creativity to our businesses, but also represent the communities we serve, has never been more important.
‘It’s our hope that this collaborative series offers inspiration and provides practical tips that can be implemented across other businesses.’
Muir said: ‘Business teams with a balance of diverse women and men make better decisions than homogenous teams, leading to superior financial performance.
‘This is due to their different but complementary insight, perspectives and propensity for risk.
‘The rise in female purchasing power means businesses with a better understanding of this customer will provide products and services with a broader appeal and so reap the returns in an economically challenging environment.
‘We also know that the skills needed so urgently, such as critical thinking, judgement, and the ability to adapt quickly and pivot to new business models in a crisis, are found to a greater extent in inclusive teams.
‘I am looking forward to joining these Courageous Conversations to encourage, inform and give practical tips to those who know they must act now, and want to know how.’
The webinar will be broadcast at 10am. Go to bit.ly/330gFeP to register.
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