Shifting diversity into high gear

Helping to close the auto industry’s talent gap

Even as the automotive industry gears up to race ahead with electric mobility and self-driving cars, it’s being held back by a deepening talent crisis. Women—an often largely underutilised resource in the automotive sector—can help pull auto companies out of this rut.

About the study

The study was conducted in the fall of 2018 by Automotive News and Deloitte. More than 200 women responded to an online survey, representing original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), suppliers, dealers, finance companies, and other organizations throughout the automotive value chain. The purpose of the study was to generate a broad point of view on how companies can effectively recruit, retain, and advance women in the industry.

Based on the findings of the study, we suggest that the Automotive sector take the following steps:

  • Start at the top: The cultural change should begin in the C-suite. Senior leaders should be aligned and lead by example to impress the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) as a critical business priority. The specific areas they should focus on through a diversity lens include succession planning, board composition, and hiring practices.
  • Foster mentorship and sponsorship: Women say formal and informal mentorship and sponsorship programs are the most effective tools a company can implement to help pave the way for attracting women to—and retaining them in—the industry.
  • Encourage women to pursue their career ambitions early and often: To combat the perception of the industry’s worsening attitude toward women, leaders should find new ways to encourage women to pursue a career in the industry. These initiatives could include a focus on: STEM subjects, engagement in the manufacturing sector, high school programs, and support for innovation competitions.
  • Learn from other industries: Nearly 40 percent of the survey respondents believe that the education sector is the best at attracting and retaining women. Automotive sector leaders should, therefore, develop a better understanding of what makes that sector so attractive and explore opportunities to leverage specific ideas that could help drive women to the automotive sector.

Read more on our Deloitte Insights page

How can Deloitte help

Deloitte Automotive strives to be the Automotive leader in Africa for the sector. Our Organisation Transformation & Talent practitioners combine deep transformation experience with practical business acumen. Our organisation and people solutions incorporate an array of innovative tools and resources, powered by analytics, to enable sustainable change.

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