At MotoNovo, we are delighted to be a sponsor at the forthcoming SMTA Females in Focus annual event, to be held in Glasgow on September 22nd. Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is a significant area of focus for MotoNovo.

Across the automotive industry, we need more talented people. Something that has become evident within MotoNovo as our DE&I programme has gained momentum is that sometimes, the talent sought is right there in front of you.

To put these potential befits in context, two of my colleagues were recognised last September at the Women in Credit Awards. National Account Manager Shamaila Madeley, who has worked in the automotive finance sector for over twenty years, was recognised as Colleague of the Year. While Cathy Addicott, 75, one of our Customer Relationship Advisors won the Lifetime Achievement Award. Hardly newcomers to the industry, both have flourished in an environment without barriers to success.

As a business, our commitment to embracing DE&I has helped us to retain and recruit talented people who welcome the culture we have developed; it has also enabled us to release untapped skills and energy from people who previously had not felt able to stretch themselves, or perhaps more accurately we had not encouraged effectively. 

MotoNovo's GROW Network

Active members of The Automotive 30% Club, whose '30 by 30' strategy aims to see at least 30% of key leadership positions in the automotive sector held by talented women by 2030, last year, we launched GROW (Generating Real Opportunities for Women). It is an initiative designed to support our motor retailer and broker partners and increase female representation across motor retailing levels.  

The network's programme of events has seen it increase understanding in areas such as unconscious bias, challenging, supporting and encouraging meaningful discussions about gender issues in motor retailing. Above all, it is about encouraging everyone to appreciate the value of providing career opportunities for women at all levels as part of a broader move to embrace diversity and inclusion.

With vacancies at a 20-year high, analysis by the IMI has highlighted the importance of DE&I in addressing the automotive industry skills shortage. They pointed out that a more diverse workforce is critical to turning the tide, and a lack of role models is a fundamental barrier to achieving that goal.

Focusing on gender disparity, the IMI's work highlighted a clear issue. Just 19% of women were in senior roles compared to 39% in the non-automotive workforce. It is this type of gap that GROW aims to address, inspiring more people to choose the automotive sector as a career choice.

Apart from addressing the talent shortage in the automotive sector, evidence points to the impact it can have on business performance. Inclusive businesses with a better gender balance are more successful, and that goes for small family-owned and large organisations.

At MotoNovo, our DE&I journey is well underway, and we encourage others to follow and are happy to share our experiences to date.

Debbie McKay, Commercial Director of Motor Sales

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