Reflecting on diversity in automotive 2019-2024

By Staff
5 Min Read

Women Automotive Network’s Ersin Kara highlights the network’s continued commitment to promoting gender diversity

Over the past five years, the automotive industry has undergone remarkable transformations in its approach to diversity and inclusion, largely propelled by the influential efforts of organisations like the Women Automotive Network, which has reported significant growth, with its membership of industry leaders increasing year on year.

​Since its inception in 2019, the Women Automotive Network has been instrumental in reshaping industry norms, fostering collaboration, and propelling progress rooted in the principles of diversity and inclusion.

​The inaugural summit held by the Women Automotive Network in 2019, themed ‘Collaboration Not Competition’, laid the groundwork for a widespread shift within the industry, emphasising the importance of embracing diverse perspectives and shared objectives.

​Fast forward to the present day, and the Network’s extraordinary growth from 175 attendees to over 34,000 members globally highlight the industry’s heightened awareness of the significance of diversity and inclusion.

​Despite these strides, significant challenges persist. Recent polls conducted by the Women Automotive Network reveal that 49 percent of network individuals still encounter obstacles related to diversity and inclusion in the automotive industry.


​Additionally, 34.5% of members face stereotypical challenges, highlighting the ongoing need for targeted initiatives to address ingrained biases and cultivate a more inclusive workplace culture.

Nevertheless, amid these challenges, there is a prevailing sense of optimism. A substantial 68.6%vof network members believe that the automotive industry is advancing towards greater diversity and inclusion.

​This positive outlook reflects the collective efforts of organisations, like the Women Automotive Network and its partners, in driving meaningful change and nurturing a more inclusive automotive sector.

​It is beyond exciting to see partnerships forming among our corporate members, where they come together to learn from each other, enhance their DI&E activities, and support the establishment of internal women’s networks, all aimed at fostering a more diverse leadership in the industry.

​Diversity in the automotive industry extends beyond gender. Achieving racial and ethnic diversity remains a challenge, but efforts are underway to increase representation of minorities, including Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Indigenous individuals, at all levels of the industry.

​Forward-thinking companies are not only focusing on diversity recruitment efforts but also creating inclusive work environments and prioritising aligning their values to retain talent from diverse backgrounds. This is evidenced by the willingness of a significant portion of the workforce, 84.4%, to make career decisions based on organisational values, as revealed in a recent survey by the Network, highlighting the importance of retaining talent beyond hiring.

​Women Automotive Network collaborates with over 50 industry-leading partners, including Porsche, Daimler Truck, Capgemini, Bosch, Merceshipddes-Benz Mobility, Flex, BMW, PPG, AkzoNobel, Micron, Toyota, Magna, Harman, Renault Trucks, Stellantis, JLR, Adient, Volkswagen Group, Stabilus, and many others.


​These partnerships have significantly contributed to the network’s growth, complemented by notable past partnerships with Ford, McKinsey, BCG, Roland & Berger, Audi, Skoda, Henkel, Volvo, Vitesco, Tuxera, SAP, DHL, Leoni, ITW, and Bose.

​The flagship events hosted by Women Automotive Network continue to serve as catalysts for industry-wide change, providing a platform for meaningful dialogue and collaboration.

​The upcoming Detroit Summit, scheduled for June 4, will feature distinguished speakers including the COO of Genesis, while the European Summit, set to take place in Stuttgart, Germany on October 8, will host renowned industry figures such as Linda Jackson, CEO of Peugeot.

​These events offer invaluable opportunities for industry professionals to exchange ideas, share best practices, and collaborate towards driving diversity and inclusion forward.

​Ersin Kara is global strategy director at Women Automotive Network

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