Automotive industry leaders to meet and discuss the need for greater diversity

Time 10:41 am, May 14, 2018

LEADING figures from the motor industry are set to meet next month to debate the need for greater diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the automotive sector.

The event is being organised by online car marketplace Auto Trader and executive search specialists Ennis & Co, and will take place at the former’s offices in London on June 12.

A number of HR directors, managing directors and CEOs from a variety of leading retail and manufacturing brands and trade bodies will be in attendance to share their experiences of D&I and help identify practical solutions to driving greater diversity across not just their own businesses, but the industry as a whole.

The two companies leading the meeting are creating a series of short ‘talking head’ videos with business leaders from several major automotive brands, such as TrustFord, Inchcape, Volkswagen, Jardine Motors and CitNOW. These videos will then be shared across social media to help promote D&I.

Rebecca Clark, manufacturer and agency director at Auto Trader, pictured, commented: ‘Diversity is an issue that simply cannot be ignored anymore. It’s not just vital from a social and cultural perspective, but there is a real business need for it too.

‘More than a third of cars in the UK are registered to women, and not only are they the key influencers in purchasing decisions, but often women are the end user too. With 40 per cent of women stating that greater diversity would create a better in-dealership experience for them, retailers and manufacturers must recognise that in today’s challenging market D&I has to be a priority.

‘Our goal for this event is to bring together the leading brands and thought leaders that like Auto Trader are determined to bring about change in the automotive industry. Working together we believe that we can introduce truly meaningful and lasting steps that will create not only more equal working opportunities for women, ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities, but also a car buying experience that is more welcoming and representative of the market.’

Lynda Ennis, found of Ennis & Co, added: ‘Helping automotive business leaders to acquire the right talent every day, Ennis & Co is very close to the diversity and inclusion issues facing this industry. Diversity is a minefield that is growing in scope and fresh demands on organisations who need to be more flexible and yet continue to make money.

‘Beyond race and gender, diversity now includes flexible working, paternity leave, transgender issues, minimum or living wages and equal pay et cetera. This wind of change calls for more than a box-ticking “fix” and we know that companies are tackling it in very different ways.

‘I’m hoping that we can help each other and fast-track our way through, starting with some very frank, action-oriented discussions at this conference, where we are going to have most, if not all, the right people in the room.’

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