At Capricorn, we have the privilege to work with an incredibly diverse range of businesses. From our family owned and operated Members to our multinational Preferred Suppliers, we have the immense pleasure of seeing the passion and talent of the men and women working behind the scenes to create the automotive industry we have today.
And if I asked every Capricorn Member or Preferred Supplier to raise their hand if they had or have women working in their business, I would anticipate an abundance of hands rising into the air. For almost five decades, we have watched as women contribute an incredible amount of time, sweat and tears to our businesses, and our industry.
In early March, the world will recognise International Women’s Day, where we focus on how we can #BreakTheBias. It’s a call to action to help build a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination, where differences are valued and celebrated.
Breaking the bias is a challenge the automotive industry must overcome. Overcoming our biases, breaking down stereotypes and rewriting the narrative of the automotive industry as a ‘man’s industry,’ is a key step in building a sustainable automotive industry long into the future.
Creating a welcoming and diverse industry can alleviate some of the big challenges we face right now. For example, it has never been more important to close the skills gap and we shouldn’t limit our talent pool to one gender.
Overcoming our biases will mean we can attract a wider group of talent. We often like to think we don’t have any biases; however, often we aren’t even aware of them. We need to face up to the unconscious prejudices we may harbour and overcome some of the barriers preventing the diversification of the automotive industry.
When we can overcome these challenges, the benefits speak for themselves. Research indicates having a diverse workplace is clearly linked to improvements in business performance, effectiveness, profitability, and revenue generation.
Women bring a wealth of skills and perspectives to our industry that increases creativity and innovation. From helping to finance and develop the first automobile, to designing cutting-edge vehicles, to leading one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, women have been behind some of the biggest innovations in the automotive industry.
The automotive industry can be a great place to work, but it’s long-term sustainability hinges on its ability to attract and retain a new talent, including a higher percentage of women. None of us are perfect, but it’s important we begin the journey now.
Women are increasingly an important customer for automotive businesses. So, it’s important to make sure your customer service is welcoming, and gender balanced. Doing so gives your business a competitive edge.
By providing safe spaces for all and welcoming a broader spectrum of people to the automotive industry — whether as team members, customers, or enthusiasts — we can create a diverse and sustainable industry ready for whatever is around the corner.