Six women helping shape automotive

three of the six women

Automotive is an everchanging sector, driven by shifting technologies and approaches to mobility. But for all the advancements being made it’s the people who continue to energise the industry, pushing it forward and making sure it remains a success.

The list of people who are propelling automotive into the future is enormous, we hone in on just six of the women helping to steer a course through some incredibly exciting times, and highlight the diversity of roles open to everyone…

Linda Jackson

Chief Executive Officer, Peugeot.

As the head of Peugeot, Linda Jackson is responsible for making sure the brand delivers the vehicles and technologies customers need and want. No mean feat considering the speed automotive is changing.

But she’s also fighting to not only change perceptions of the industry but also make it more inclusive as part of the IMI’s Diversity Task Force, showing that automotive can be the go-to career choice no matter who you are and what your background is.

Jamie Chadwick

Professional Racing Driver.

From racing go-karts as a junior to multiple W Series championships and Indy NXT driver for Andretti Global, Jamie Chadwick has had an incredible progression through the racing ranks.

And while she’ll continue to battle it out on track during the year’s season, she’s also heavily invested in helping new talent find a path to race day.

The Jamie Chadwick Series in collaboration with the Daytona Motorsport is a year-long programme designed to encourage and develop new talent and provide mentorship and support for aspiring female racers.

Lisa Brankin

Chair and Managing Director at Ford Motor Company.

Everyone’s career has to start somewhere, but there are no limits to where it can take you. Lisa Brankin began her journey at Ford in 1990 as a graduate trainee but is now responsible for the blue oval’s UK workforce numbering over 6,000 employees, and its facilities including its Daventry Parts Distribution Centre, Northants; Smart Mobility Lab in Stratford, East London; Southampton Transport Operations; and British and Irish sales HQs in Dunton, Essex, and Cork.

While Brankin will help Ford introduce a range of new electrified vehicles into the market, and for anyone wondering if you can’t climb the career ladder from an entry position, she epitomises the opportunities available if you have the drive to succeed.

Julia Muir

Founder of the Automotive 30% Club and CEO Gaia Innovation Ltd.

Part of the automotive industry since childhood, helping her father’s engine tuning business, Muir is now striving to make sure that automotive opens its doors to a broader talent base as it seeks to succeed in a future shaped by new technologies.

As the founder of The Automotive 30% Club, a network of 70 progressive leaders building inclusive cultures, Muir is redefining the automotive landscape. The target is to fill at least 30% of key leadership positions in the member organisations with women by 2030.

Barbara Garcia

Engineering Transformation, JLR.

If you want to see the diversity of roles in automotive and the trajectory a career in the industry can lead to, look no further than Barbara Garcia.

In a career that has seen her work for JLR, Lotus, Dyson, and Tevva so far, she’s covered procurement, manufacturing, and engineering and been key player in electric and hydrogen vehicle development programmes. Not only that, Garcia won the Autocar Great Women: Rising Star Award for Manufacturing accolade in 2021.

As a beacon of what’s possible in automotive, Garcia highlights the sky’s the limit.

Siti Abdullah

Expert and Technical Training EMEA Coordinator, Brembo.

There are a lot of people who could help bolster automotive’s talent pool, but perhaps haven’t considered the sector as a career choice. When one career didn’t work out, Siti Abdullah found automotive through National Service Network, and hasn’t looked back.

Working for arguably one of automotive’s best known brands, Abdullah is not only accelerating her own career but also helping break down barriers and challenge stereotypes through her work and as part of the IMI’s Diversity Task Force.

At the top of her list is changing first impression stereotypes. She’s keen to apply her knowledge and help others, but they need to set their assumptions aside first. And the more success she has doing that, the easier it’ll be for others joining automotive.

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