WHY CELEBRATING FEMALE TALENT SHOULDN'T JUST BE FOR ONE DAY

Neil Williamson, Chief Executive

With International Women’s Day upon us, I’ve taken the time to reflect on this year’s motto ‘Each for Equal’. What’s inspired this is listening to an insightful talk from author of Invisible Women, Caroline Criado, at last year’s Automotive 30% Club annual conference.

In Caroline’s talk, she gave some examples of how the world we live in today has been designed by men and for men. From the safety of a car through to snow clearing routes in Scandinavian city, even data and AI can be gender bias.

So, when we think about ‘Each for Equal’, it really must be about creating a level playing field and providing equal opportunities for all, and I don’t just classify women as an under-represented part of our workforce. We still have some progress to make in other areas of diversification, which is why I think the focus on this is not just for one day; it has to be always-on otherwise we are failing to truly drive diversification of thought. And if you fail in one area of diversification, you’re actually failing in all areas.

In business, and even more so right now as we embark on significant transformation within Jardine Motors, it’s so important we have a breadth of ideas and talent. We need to be having those big, challenging conversations internally to breed innovation, creativity and performance. I believe it’s only by having an inclusive and diverse team that we will move forward quicker, more collaboratively, and truly deliver the right solutions for our customers and colleagues by having all voices represented, listened too and heard.

So, while we must use International Women’s Day and other initiatives such as the Automotive 30% Club’s Inspiring Women Awards, as a platform to help recognise and celebrate female talent, we must not lose focus at any other time of the year either.