Knowledgeable IWD event promotes industry-wide inclusivity

Silverstone Technology Cluster

10th March 2021

The STC has further promoted the benefits of inclusive business leadership with experts and management figures from automotive, education and construction offering their experiences in a special International Women’s Day event.

Hosted by MEPC’s Roz Bird, STC Chair and Silverstone Park Commercial Director, the event heard from Automotive 30% Club founder Julia Muir about her new book ‘Change The Game’ – in effect, a route map for business leaders on inclusivity.

Julia, with vast experience at a senior level in automotive, explained her reasons for the book and highlighted how inclusive leadership can improve stability, productivity and profitability for businesses.

This can be achieved by embracing ‘abundance thinking’ and doing away with a ‘fixed pie mentality’.

“It is clear to me that gender balanced businesses are more successful. Irrespective of the moral argument, there is a business case for it, too,” commented Julia.

From the automotive sector, VW UK’s Penny Weatherup and Keyloop’s Stuart Miles delivered statistics on how they have set about dramatically improving the number of women in roles – at senior, mid and junior levels.

 Increasing the female talent pipeline “has given us real traction in pulling females through, as well males, into senior roles”, said Penny.

Kingsthorpe College’s Diane Fisher emphasised the importance of businesses working with schools to help raise better awareness amongst youngsters of the types of careers and roles available.

She also explained her school’s participation in Automotive 30% Club’s Inspiration for Innovation programme with STC founding member Silverstone Park has had a hugely beneficial effect.

“The Year 11s who took part in Year 1 of programme (2018) are on a totally different level to students of previous years. It has opened their minds to thinking what they want to do in future… We have to inspire young people; if we don’t, they are never going to understand (what is available) or will end up in jobs they don’t enjoy,” stated Diane.

From construction, Glanville Consultants’ John Birch, Wates Group’s Neil Matthias and Armac Group’s Andrew Dudley explained the measures their businesses have implemented to help improve women’s perceptions of the sector and make it appeal more to them as a genuine career choice.

John stressed the importance of businesses using data to form their strategies and to measure progress.

 Meanwhile, during the event, Roz said: “All businesses I work with are concerned about skills shortages. As 51% of the population is female, unless you have about 50% females, at all levels, in your business, then there must be barriers to women joining.

“Identify the barriers, and the skills pool increases, bringing new people in and creating a more diverse workforce. If companies do not stay culturally relevant with society then they risk becoming obsolete – turning off new recruits and new customers.”

The full event is available to watch on the STC’s YouTube channel. CLICK HERE to view.

Julia Muir’s book ‘Change The Game’ is available to purchase online.

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