IMI sponsors Automotive 30% Club’s Inspiration for Innovation Network

IMI sponsors Automotive 30% Club’s Inspiration for Innovation Network

IMI COO, Lesley Woolley, becomes a Patron as automotive professional network leads initiatives to grow a diverse female talent pipeline

As the automotive sector continues to face challenges in recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce, the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has announced its sponsorship of the Automotive 30% Club’s Inspiration for Innovation Network. Lesley Woolley, Chief Operating Officer of the IMI has also become a patron of the Automotive 30% Club, which has the aim of filling at least 30% of key leadership positions in its member organisations with women by 2030.

The Inspiration for Innovation Network is a group of volunteers from the member companies of the Automotive 30% Club, and a collection of schools, universities and, special interest groups who come together aiming to address gender imbalance in the automotive sector and inspire girls and women to join the industry. The purpose is to create meaningful encounters between school students and inspirational role models from automotive, to raise awareness that the Automotive 30% Club member companies are creating a better gender balance, and to encourage the pupils to consider automotive careers.

Importantly, the volunteers are from right across the spectrum from workshop to boardroom, apprentice to director, showcasing the career paths available to women. Digital media will also be available including ‘Essential Skills’ episodes and ‘Career Conversation’ films which will highlight the vast range of competences required by and the inspiring women already in the industry.

The Automotive 30% Club, is powered by the social enterprise company Gaia Innovation Ltd and was founded by its CEO Julia Muir who explains: “I’m very pleased to welcome Lesley Woolley as a Patron, and the IMI as the new sponsor of the Automotive 30% Club Inspiration for Innovation Network. The funding will enable us to mobilise a highly committed network of volunteers from within our member companies who will not only inspire girls and women, but also showcase to boys the strong female role models already playing a critical role in the growth of our industry. It will also amplify the impact we achieve by enabling us to help member companies to implement their own schools engagement strategies. It’s essential that we all do much more to ensure that youngsters see our members as inclusive employers of choice, and communicate that there’s a job in our sector for everyone and anyone, if they have a positive attitude and a willingness to learn. In addition, our network of volunteers will find the school visits rewarding, highly motivating and useful for their own personal development.”

Lesley Woolley, COO of the IMI, and newly appointed Patron of the Automotive 30% Club agrees: “The lack of diversity that currently exists in the motor industry is a significant contributory factor in the challenges it faces in recruitment and retention of a highly skilled workforce. Throughout my career I have championed initiatives that empower personal development for anyone working in the sector. So I am tremendously excited to become a Patron of the Automotive 30% Club and, in particular, be involved in the Inspiration for Innovation Network.

“Recent research for the Diversity Task Force Report, which I led for the IMI, identified that children as young as 6 are already making decisions about what they want to do and be when they grow up. So having the chance to be involved in some of the many schools activities led by the Network will give me and the wider IMI community the privileged opportunity to win the hearts and minds of future automotive employees.”

Further information about the Inspiration for Innovation Network can be found here