Meet November’s “Member of the Month:” Mr Austen Lowe (he/him), Diversity Consultant, Audi Brussels
Why did you join the Women Automotive Network?
Ok, I am a Diversity Consultant, so it might be “the thing to do” to join the network. However, that isn’t the main reason. I am convinced that men need to raise their game to stand up for women in STEM fields. We need to stop taking a masculine norm and applying it as a standard. If the industry excludes half of the population, we will miss out on the perspectives of women. This network celebrates the achievements and projects that women are leading in our sector, empowering every woman to play her part in the industry. The fact that the network is open to all, regardless of gender is hugely positive. It gives us a common mindset and a strong force for equal opportunities.
Why is DE&I important to you?
At Audi our aim is to live diversity and that is also my true inner drive. For me though, it is important that DE&I is done and not just discussed. I am really frustrated that the topic just becomes a marketing trend. I am in it for real change. The reality can only be shifted when there is a solid structure and a desire for transformation. So, let’s shake up our HR departments and bring evidence-based arguments that can change our people processes for the next generation.
What are your predictions for the automotive industry in 2022?
Automotive is becoming automobile. The seismic changes in our industry fill us with excitement, but also with courage to step into unfamiliar territory. And we have all had to face that in the Covid-19 crisis (dare I mention semi-conductors). The skills of yesterday are no longer the skills for tomorrow, and we need to see a big mindset change to bring new talents into our business. DE&I is the key to this success. That is not a prediction for 2022. It is a fact that we must take seriously. If we are to deliver outstanding mobility experience for society, society should be reflected in the processes that underpin our products. This ensures that we leave no-one behind. Sustainability, in all its facets.
Who is your inspirational woman?
Antonia Wadé, Diversity Managers at Audi AG
What is your proudest career moment?
In 2019 I had the privilege of representing Audi at the One Young World Summit in London. The organisation identifies, connects, and promotes young leaders, giving them a global platform. I must admit that the week was an emotional one. Listening to people’s stories, how they overcame their challenges, how they stood up for what was right and saw potential even in the darkest and hardest situations, really motivated me. To be surrounded by such positive-minded and change-focused people gave me an energy boost which will last my whole career.
In one word, what is the opportunity for women in automotive currently?
Positivity. We can do it!
Don’t forget to connect with Mr Austen Lowe on LinkedIn here.