CEO Update

Making workforce diversity business as usual

03 May 2024 #CEO Update

Diverse workforces are proven to benefit creativity, productivity, recruitment and retention – all of which underpin long term competitiveness and business growth. Recruitment strategies to attract top calibre people from every part of society are therefore crucial, and we must inspire a new generation of young people to join our ranks. Such inspiration was in plentiful supply this week with the Autocar Great Women 2024 awards raising the profile of some of the exceptional women who are driving our industry’s success in every discipline and at every level.

The number of senior industry leaders being nominated for these awards has grown exponentially since its launch in 2016 and their recognition is well deserved. The need to encourage people from all parts of society to join our industry is a mission that’s inspired SMMT to support these awards since the beginning, and in 2024 it must be a given that diversity and inclusion strategies – covering all protected characteristics – are no longer objectives but business as usual. Industry commitments such as the Automotive Council’s DE&I Charter are fundamental to that end.

Our sectoral strength also comes from our broader diversity in the form of our businesses, from start-ups and scale-ups to suppliers, vehicle manufacturers and aftermarket firms, spanning every UK region. Recruitment is a top priority across them all but also vitally important today is green investment, as partnerships emerge with venture capital, private equity and established industry players, internationally and locally. SMMT will continue to support its members on that journey with events such as Meet the Funder later this month, hosted in partnership with the Green Finance Institute, followed by Regional Forum to open up new opportunities for businesses in the North West. Anyone interested in being involved can contact SMMT’s Membership department.

Another key date for the diary is the SMMT International Automotive Summit on 25 June and we were delighted to announce this week that Professor Anand Menon, Director of UK in a Changing Europe, will be our special keynote speaker. With high-profile debates on road mapping for net zero, improving global competitiveness, opportunities for innovation and government policy needed along the way, it’s industry’s flagship event with 300 senior level industry representatives present. Further details can be found here

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