The UK Automotive 30% Club Annual Conference: What Was Learnt?

Influential speakers from retail and manufacturing automotive organisations joined over 70 automotive leaders in coming together to share ideas at the UK Automotive 30% Club conference on 2nd November 2017.

With the exciting theme of ‘reaching 30 by 30’, and the aim of filling at least 30% of key leadership positions in the member organisations with women by 2030, various key topics were discussed on the day.

Here are the highlights of what was learnt at the conference…



The Imposter Syndrome – Dr Terri Simpkin, Senior Lecturer, Anglia Ruskin University

Dr Simpkin’s presentation explored the organisational consequences of the imposter phenomenon. The ‘imposter phenomenon’ was referred to as an intense feeling of intellectual phoniness, despite successes. After this thought provoking presentation, Dr Simpkin concluded with diversity and inclusion initiatives, ending with this quote – “ultimately, we believe decisions are consistent with our conscious beliefs, when in fact, our unconscious is running the show”.

Closing the Gender Gap – Ingrid Waterfield, Director, People Consulting, KPMG

With diversity and inclusion being the core focus of this presentation, Ingrid Waterfield concluded with actions to overcome the challenges organisations face. These included the following:

  • Collect measurable data and consider setting targets
  • Become a mentor to a colleague who is different from you
  • Make an actionable pledge to drive inclusion
  • Actively recognise colleagues who are making an impact
  • Be a role model and practice what you preach

Actions to Reach 30 by 30 – Duncan Movassaghi, Director of Skoda, Volkswagen Group UK

Duncan Movassaghi explored what actions could be taken to increase gender diversity in the workplace. He highlighted the importance of diverse organisations, stating that it requires a cultural change to accept that we need to adopt different ways of thinking. In conclusion, he suggested that diverse organisations are:

  • More informed and make better decisions
  • More innovative
  • Better at product development and marketing
  • Perceived more positively by customers
  • More likely to outperform competitors

Further topics also presented at the conference were as follows:

How to make recruitment processes more attractive and how to retain women – Katie Ward, Corporate Sales Manager, Working Mums

Gender Intelligent Leadership Research – Rachel Short, Director at Why Women Work, Steering Committee Member of The 30% Club

Building an Inclusive Culture – Sofia Kouzinopoulou, HR Director for EMEA GMS, Facebook



Julia Muir hosted two insightful and thought provoking panel discussions, encouraging the audience to share ideas on ‘reaching 30 by 30’. Tips and techniques were shared on how to effectively engage with schools to raise the level of interest in automotive careers amongst female students.

Panel 1 – 30:30:30 Campaign with Speakers for Schools – Review and Legacy

Included: Karen Hilton (Carwow), Tracy Crump (Bentley), Ashley Hodges (Speakers for Schools), George Sharp (Inchcape Retail), Kate Thompson (Volkswagen Group UK)

Panel 2 – How to reach 30 by 30

Included: Nigel McMinn (Lookers), Paula Cooper (Toyota GB), Robert Forrester (Vertu) and Laura Brailey (Mazda)

By attending the conference, guests learnt, participated, connected, contributed and networked with those sharing the same aspirations in increasing gender diversity in the workplace, with the aim to reach ’30 by 30’. Most importantly, guests went home inspired to try new approaches, enabled and equipped to be more innovative and improve gender diversity within their organisations.



“To hear about how women often challenge themselves was pertinent – both personally and from my experience of supporting other working women.  I came away wondering whether the ‘toe curling’ and temptation to always allude success to others stems from our ‘Britishness’ whist agreeing that upbringing has a huge impact.  I was brought up in a Scottish protestant home and showing off was definitely not on the agenda!  Where do we draw the line between hard working work ethic, a desire for recognition coupled with discomfort with public praise? And when do we push ourselves forward without the self-doubt and imposter cloud hanging over us? Really fascinating topics – all very well presented and providing lots to reflect on!” Julia Greenhough, Head of Marketing, Trustford

“It was honestly one of the best conferences that I have attended due to the great speakers and guests. Well done for organising a great event and congratulations for growing the success and progress of the Automotive 30% Club – very proud to be associated.” Rob Giles, Director, HR & Corporate Operations, Toyota GB



To engage with the #30by30 discussion or to get in touch:

Twitter: @Auto30Club

LinkedIn: Automotive Thirty Club

Facebook Page: Automotive 30% Club

For further information and images from Gaia Innovation please contact:

Dzifa Amedume –

Post Author: Nicola Thompson

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