Over the last few months, the team at AMENA has been working closely with industry counterparts, notable publishers and association members to launch the highly anticipated Women In Automotive Forum that welcomed over 150 industry executives, VIPs, media, and celebrity influencers.
The goal of the Women In Automotive Forum was to organize and focus the conversation around how the automotive industry’s female professionals and female consumers may be empowered and supported in better and more progressive ways. The program featured a number of high impact TED-Style Keynote Spotlights as well as deep insights from a special panel on the subject of gender diversity and women empowerment. During the reception, attendees which included executives from major manufacturers, importers, and global suppliers got a chance to share knowledge, discuss insights, and improve business relationships.
“It’s not every day you see so many key players and all in one room to move the automotive industry to the forefront of women empowerment.” – Mr. Samir Gargash, Chairman of Gargash Group
Nissan Motor Corporation and Dubai Police are leading supporters of the Women In Automotive Forum.
In 2018, women accounted for only 16 percent of the executives in the top 20 motor vehicles and parts companies in the Fortune Global 500, and over half of the top 20 companies in this industry have zero women on their executive teams, according to a report by leading gender diversity consultancy 20-First.
Alan Whaley, Chairman of AMENA, started off the evening with “For the last 100 years, the automotive industry has played an integral part in defining and shaping our lives by providing new dimensions of mobility and personal freedom. However, when it comes to the role of women in automotive, we have not been a leader. And that’s putting it mildly.”
Nissan’s VP of Human Resources – AMI Region, Samar ElMnhrawy, further impressed on how “we need women there for women to feel comfortable wanting to be there, representation is so important.”
Part of the progress comes from diversity of skills and capabilities, as Sarah Chambers, FCA’s Head of HR Middle East pointed out: “We assess all our employees on more ‘masculine’ leadership skills but also on more ‘feminine’ leadership skills so we also have qualities like humility, respect, openness, transparency…it’s about acknowledging a mix of those qualities.”
On the consumer side, speakers shared data and insights on female consumers and shared ideas and initiatives on how to adapt these emerging trends.
Ines Pintenat, Head of Consumer Experience at Michelin ME, spoke about how women want to be marketed differently. Michelin, a gold sponsor and close partner of the Women In Automotive Forum, has been a leader in creating experiences for female consumers. “Michelin’s theme of #WomenInDrive invites women into the automotive world and empowers women of different backgrounds.”
Dr. Saeeda Jaffar, Managing Director of Alvarez & Marsal, shared that “when it comes to the topic of electric cars and shared mobility, our data shows that women are much more favorable towards these advancements than men.”
The Forum concluded the evening of conversation, inspiration, and highly valuable insights by introducing the the upcoming Women in Automotive Whitepaper, due to be released in January 2019.
The Women In Automotive Forum is the first in a series of initiatives AMENA has planned around the topic. As an unbiased, independent body that supports the automotive industry and its consumers, AMENA will share the findings and collective insights with Forum attendees, members of the association, and key players and partners of the automotive industry.