Like so many fields in life, the motor industry has long had a reputation as being a male bastion and cars a ‘man thing’ in general. But the modern reality is very different.
There are now a number of women in prominent roles in the industry and Citroen chief Linda Jackson has been named the most influential Briton among them.
She was given the accolade at the annual Great British Women in the Car Industry event, which was run by Autocar and took place at the Barbican Centre in London.
Ms Jackson is certainly not an isolated figure as a British woman in a senior position in the automotive industry. She was among no less than 100 nominees for the top prize, showing just how far the industry has come in terms of employing, valuing and recognising the role played by women at various levels.
Commenting on the award, Autocar editor Mark Tisshaw remarked: “The car industry needs more Linda Jacksons; she’s not only a role model, but an example to women wanting to work in the car industry that the sky is not the limit if you have the talent and determination.”
Ms Jackson reacted: “I hope this Autocar award inspires even more women to pursue a career in this industry at all levels.”
A number of other women had their contributions to the motor industry recognised too. The product development award went to chief product engineer at Jaguar Land Rover Elizabeth Hill, the design award went to design director of General Motors Helen Emsley, and the marketing award went to BMW’s marketing director Michelle Roberts.
Chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Mike Hawes said the car industry has made notable strides towards greater equality, although it “still has a long way to go”. He also hoped there would soon be a time when the workforce is as demographically diverse as the customer base.
Ellie Baker, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, comments: “In what is traditionally seen as an area mainly of interest to men, it is encouraging to see so many women making major contributions and being recognised for it.”
Posted on 24th June 2018
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