Gender equality and equal pay policy is very much in the media spotlight currently. At DEKRA Automotive we believe that as an organisation closely involved and aligned to the motor industry, it’s vital we lead by example in our work with major car companies and suppliers to this important sector.
We are proud to announce and promote that we currently have a 50:50 split in terms of gender within our organisation, a statistic that many companies are striving to achieve and in an industry which has often been seen as male dominated over the years. We have a clear focus on gender diversity initiatives such as continually reviewing our remuneration packages to ensure that we do not have issues in terms of gender pay gaps as well as focussing on increasing the number of female applicants to our vacant positions. Statistics show that there is still a huge shortage of females in the Automotive industry and interestingly throughout 2016 and 2017, we received double the number of male applicants to female applicants when advertising for vacant positions so a focus on appointing female talent into the industry is paramount.
We work closely with and advise OEMs on a variety of topics including recruitment and by doing so we have successfully encouraged our clients to consider applicants for roles from other industries meaning that we have been able to attract great female talent into the automotive industry.
A great example is one of our Programme Leaders, Lisa Griffiths. Lisa started her career in the utilities industry and prior to working at DEKRA Automotive she worked as a Training Consultant supporting clients across a number of industries. Since joining four years ago Lisa has been an In-Retailer Performance Improvement Coach, providing coaching expertise to the retailer network on behalf of automotive manufacturers and has since progressed to managing one of our most successful teams. Lisa enjoys working in the industry because it is a fast paced and exciting environment to work in with an emphasis on achieving results, especially as the industry is experiencing a period of significant change, with new models, changes in retailing, along with a desire to provide innovative services that continue to exceed customer expectations. Lisa has been given the challenge and opportunity to design, deliver and develop a programme that continues to evolve and add value to the Client. Lisa says that “the success of the programme is because the entire team are diverse, dedicated, passionate, highly skilled and go above and beyond to create solutions and deliver tangible results that really do make a difference.”
Many of our clients are also championing gender equality and we are proud to be in support of this. Fundamentally, it is key that you have the right person with the right competencies in each role but we are committed to gender equality and supporting the automotive industry in increasing the number of females who work within it. We are not only committed to increasing the number of females working within the industry but are actively supporting them to develop and progress in to more senior positions.
On 8th March 2018 we supported International Women’s Day. Using the International campaign theme #PressforProgress, we asked our employees to tell us how they were going to press for progress by taking a #PressforProgress pledge selfie and these were shared within the business. This was a great success with many colleagues both male and female joining in to spread the word.
As we embark on major change in the industry, it is important that we have a diverse workforce which is equipped to meet the needs of our customers. Diversity is crucial to innovation. 86% of employees who participated in our Engagement Survey in 2017 said that the company values diversity e.g. age, gender, ethnicity, language, ideas and perspectives. This is really important to us, not only do we want to maintain this, the aim is to increase the diversity as it has added value, innovative thinking and also created a more cooperative and cohesive approach to our working.
This is reflected in our working with our automotive partners which has been welcomed by them and shows that diversity is not something to be afraid of, it improves efficiency and the bottom line.
The importance of a diverse workforce is demonstrated in many areas of our business, Richard Murphy, Programme Leader at DEKRA Automotive says – “I am very pleased to say that in the 20+ years that I have been in this industry there has been a significant change with many more women in senior positions both in dealerships and within manufacturers. This will continue to accelerate as customers demand more choice and mutually beneficial relationships. There are now lots of opportunities for women to develop an exciting, rewarding and varied career in a fast moving and evolving industry, and with the right application and mindset no limit on how far they can go to achieve their goals and ambitions. Having a diverse workforce encompassing a diverse age range will help a business maintain its relevance and ensure that every new opportunity is uncovered, evaluated and embraced.”
I wrote this article as having worked in predominately male orientated industries – automotive, software and telecommunications, I know that there is a real need to improve gender equality, not only to ensure that women who can make a significant contribution are recognised, but also to ensure that businesses are not missing out the opportunity to reap the benefits this diversity creates. I am also a member of Woman at The Wheel, a network of pioneering women accelerating the UK automotive industry.
I am passionate about championing and increasing gender equality. I have seen the positive impacts it can have within businesses in terms of employee engagement, innovation and reducing staff turnover.
By successfully managing a fast-paced HR and Recruitment team, being part of a senior leadership team as well as being a busy Mum, my aim is to be an inspiration to others and an example of why we should encourage all industries to recruit more females to join and progress in business.
Head of Human Resources, DEKRA Automotive UK