In this article: Cat Treanor, Electude’s UK Business Development Manager explains how increasing diversity in the industry would strengthen it even further

“I’m not one of the typical people you see in the automotive industry,” says Cat Treanor MIMI CAE. At the first garage I worked in, I was one of just four employees, and the only woman. At college, I was one woman among 17 men. At my last dealership, I was one of three women out of 40 staff members. And at many automotive events, I’m one out of maybe five or six women in a room of 70 or more.”

How would the industry benefit from being more diverse? Over to you, Cat…

It’ll plug the skills gap. Companies continuously develop their best vehicles, evolving individual components over the years. If they didn’t, they’d be left behind. The motor industry has typically recruited in the same way and targeted the same people again and again, which means achieving the same results. But there’s a skills gap to fill and women are a large untapped resource.

It’ll promote innovation. Women alone won’t solve the lack of talent coming into the industry, but they will improve it in other ways. Having both women and men in a team means you benefit from the different points of view and approaches that come from different life experiences. Those perspectives can inspire creativity, promote innovation and help organisations find and seize new opportunities. It changes the dynamic for the better.

It’s already happening. Take a look at the ‘Girls with Skills’ fast-track work experience programme from Arnold Clark. This is aimed specifically at young girls, and it has led to an increase in the number of female apprentices. The firm has even created guides for schools and parents to encourage their children to go into the trade.

Cat Treanor

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