Search begins for future female rising stars.

The UK automotive industry is on the search for the sector’s future leaders as the Great British Women in the Car Industry awards returns for a second year. As part of ongoing efforts to encourage more young people to join one of the UK’s most exciting and vital sectors, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has once again partnered with motoring brand Autocar to identify its top 100 rising female stars.

The initiative raises the profile of the many and varied opportunities available in this cutting-edge sector. A shortage of skilled workers is one of the most significant barriers to continuing the record growth in UK Automotive, with thousands of jobs currently vacant and women under-represented in the workforce, filling just one in four manufacturing jobs.

Nominations for the Awards are now open, with categories including vehicle development, manufacturing, purchasing, retail, marketing, communications, apprentices, motorsport, design and executive. A winner will be selected for each, with an overall winner then being selected from that shortlist.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The industry is in great health with record exports, record new car registrations and groundbreaking new technology, so it’s an exciting time to join the UK automotive industry. To continue this growth, we need to attract the most talented people to enter the workplace, so we are proud to be supporting this initiative again this year. We want to highlight successful women who’ve made a difference in UK automotive and to provide inspiration for many others considering their future careers.”

Rachael Prasher, Haymarket Media Group Automotive Brand Director, said,“I’m delighted that our hugely successful initiative has kick-started a number of ideas around celebrating and inspiring women in the automotive industry, and it is especially pleasing to move the focus on to rising talent. The opportunities for rewarding careers in the automotive sector are enormous, and we plan to put the spotlight on its brightest stars working across a wide variety of roles and, through our event at Twickenham Stadium, offer insight and debate around some of the topics associated with this area of the industry.”

Candidates must be nominated by friends, colleagues or their employer, and the shortlisted winners will be chosen by a judging panel, including Jim Holder, Steve Cropley and Rachel Burgess from Autocar’s editorial team, alongside SMMT’s Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, and Director of Communications and International, Tamzen Isacsson.

Winners will be chosen based on their influence – and potential future influence – on the industry and within their company, taking into account the size and strength of the business they represent. Dedication to a career in the automotive industry will also be favoured, as well as potential to inspire others to join the sector. The initiative is also backed by Direct Line Group, Ford and Jaguar Land Rover.

Nominations should be made to Jim Holder, Autocar’s editorial director, at jim.holder@haymarket.com by 3 April 2017. The winners will be announced at the Great British Women in the Car Industry event at Twickenham Stadium on 21 June 2017.

Christopher Macgowan

@chrismacgowan

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