Here’s What Automotive Professionals Say About Automotive Career Desirability

Here’s What Automotive Professionals Say About Automotive Career Desirability

by Women Automotive Network Team January 11, 2022

The Women Automotive Network used last year’s “Winter Meetup” as a prime opportunity to find out what automotive professionals think and feel about automotive career desirability. The results were surprising to say the least. Here’s what they said:

Whilst diversity in the automotive sector has certainly improved this past couple of years, it’s quite apparent that we’ve still got a long way to go. Surprisingly, 67.0% of attendees could only name 1-5 inspiring women in the automotive sector.

And with 58.0% believing that the responsibility to support and promote DE&I starts at management level, does this send a strong message out to automotive managers and executives? And how can automotive managers and executives do more to promote DE&I within their organisations?

What’s clear is that more needs to be done to promote automotive careers from a young age. Only 3.9% of participants desired a career in the automotive sector from their childhood, onwards. For most, that desire came much later, suggesting that the automotive sector isn’t a hugely desirable sector to work in.

As part of this key discovery, the Women Automotive Network has put together five key takeaways to drive awareness, inspire change, and address these numbers head on:

1. Automotive career awareness should start at school

With “only 3.9% of participants [desiring] a career in the automotive sector from their childhood, onwards,” it’s obvious what needs to change: automotive career awareness should start at school. This could mean including automotive initiatives during lessons or during work experience, or reaching out to get local Governments and local automotive organisations involved in school-led outreach programs.

2. Career diversity should start at school

Does the education system promote diversity and inclusion in a career context enough? Are schools doing enough? Should schools teach diversity and inclusion in a career context during lessons at school, and mentor young children on how best to navigate this situation when they enter the workforce?

3. More awareness needs to be driven through marketing and publicity

If more automotive organisations and local governments invested in better, larger scale marketing and publicity programs to drive awareness amongst new audiences, and change the reputation of automotive as a career field, this would improve career desirability from a younger age.

4. Clever marketing needs to be used to improve sector desirability

Again, if more automotive organisations and local governments invested in better, larger scale marketing and publicity programs to drive diversity awareness in the automotive industry, more organisations would jump on the diversity bandwagon and create new diversity programs from within.

5. “Promoted from within” will create more diverse role models to inspire

As mentioned earlier, “67.0% of attendees could only name 1-5 inspiring women in the automotive sector.” The solution is simple: promote more diverse leaders within your organisation. This would “create” more inspiring women in the automotive sector, and those numbers would quickly change.

The data shows that having a diverse workforce makes economic sense, so what is holding companies back?

To conclude, based on these findings, we need to address diversity and automotive career desirability from a younger age, and make sure that companies have the right leadership support and career development opportunities in place to support women in the automotive sector.

The Women Automotive Network aims to be at the forefront of this change this year, through our rapidly growing community of 6,400+ on LinkedIn, and through our events, content and newly-launched mentorship programs, each of which tackles the above issues.