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Women in the automotive industry: embracing authenticity


By Ellen Plumer, Head of Outreach & Marketing at Ben

For International Women’s Day, I wanted to consider the role of authenticity in the automotive industry and its importance, particularly for women. 

Despite progress over the years, women represent just 20% of the automotive workforce in the UK (according to the UK Automotive Council), which highlights the ongoing need for gender balance and creating inclusive workplaces. After all, in an industry facing staff shortages, attraction and retention are crucial.

So what is authenticity and why does it matter in the workplace? Being authentic means being genuine, true to yourself, maintaining integrity, openness and transparency in communication, actions and relationships. No-one should feel they need to change themselves, even in the world of work… instead we should all be able to embrace our individuality and strengths. After all, research shows that people experience more job satisfaction when they can be themselves at work*. Understandably, if work aligns with who you are and your values, you are much more likely to stay with your organisation. 

Women still face obstacles working in the automotive industry and it takes resilience and self-belief to make it in a world where you are under represented. Rather than emulating male colleagues to ‘fit in’, women should feel empowered to embrace their individuality, bringing their unique qualities and perspectives into the workplace. 

Yet, authenticity isn't just an issue for women to navigate, it's important for everyone. In the workplace, it helps create an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and respected for who they are. It sends a message that everyone’s experiences are not only accepted, but also celebrated. It also contributes to and is closely linked with diversity and inclusion, which we know has a number of benefits in the workplace. Focusing on diversity and inclusion and bringing together individuals with different backgrounds and skills can only enhance business success. It contributes to more inclusive teamwork and communication, enriches workplace culture, drives innovation and, ultimately, contributes to the sustainability of organisations and industries. 

Navigating the complex automotive world isn't easy, especially as a woman, but with the support of forward-thinking leaders who celebrate diversity and encourage authenticity, progress is possible. Leaders need to advocate for people as individuals and also bring their own true selves to work, creating an environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging and can thrive.

So, whether you're new to the industry or a seasoned veteran, remember that being true to yourself is key and authenticity is your superpower in the ever-evolving automotive world.



* Forbes:

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