Top Automotive Leaders Share Their Key Thoughts For 2021/2022
This year’s Winter Meetup, which was hosted by the Women Automotive Network, brought together the world’s top automotive leaders virtually, who each shared their thoughts, findings, and observations from 2021’s automotive industry, whilst looking ahead to what we can expect in 2022.
With a total of 704 attendees from 34 countries, one thing was certain at this year’s Women Automotive Winter Meetup: the need for more diversity in the sector. For those who are looking for an incentive, according to Kyra Whitten from Flex, “having a diverse workforce leads to better ideas and better financial results.”
Whilst diversity might seem like a hot topic right now (with many organisations across the automotive sector looking for new ways to improve it), Oksana Graf and Petra Schröter from TE Connectivity (Meetup speakers) were proud to discuss their rotational mentoring programs, which they believe are the key to improving diversity.
But of course, there are always new challenges when it comes to implementing these types of programs. However, fear not, as Tamara Warren Le Car Inc believes that although “change is never simple, it’s worth it.” Embracing change, and facing it head on was certainly a common thread throughout each talk at the event, and most automotive leaders agreed.
And if you’re still not convinced, there is a risk to not changing: “Traditionalists are falling behind,” said Hasmeet Kaur (Principle, Roland Berger). Further evidence of this is obvious across other sectors. In fact, it’s painted in black and white: whether it’s the impact of Uber on the taxi industry, or the impact of Deliveroo on the restaurant industry (particularly during COVID-19, with the foreclosure of the high-street, and the rise in online takeaway orders, not to mention the global tripling of ecommerce spending), – clearly, change needs to be embraced.
Similarly, with the world becoming more eco-conscious than ever before, and with the rise in electric car purchases, sustainability has become a key focus for ALL industries. As Julie David (Managing Director, PEUGEOT UK & Vice President, Stellantis) shared: “the automotive industry needs to become more sustainable as it becomes increasingly more technical.” And of course, with the emergence of new technology, comes disruption.
So what’s next for 2022? The Women Automotive Network asked what attendees felt would affect their role the most in 2022: 25.2% said “electric vehicle uptake,” and 32.0% said “supply chain demand issues,” which further demonstrates the prevalence of technological disruption in the sector, and the fears and anxieties caused during the worst period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To conclude, change and disruption is the future of the automotive industry, as is diversity, and the Women Automotive Network are at the forefront of this change with their ever-growing network, and their community that promotes thought leadership, diversity and technological advance through a highly-regarded forum.