EV Summit, the organisation promoting the advancement of e-mobility based at Oxford University, recently held a series of online sessions, Top Women in the EV world in 2021.
In the words of Rashida Noray, EV Summit’s Managing Director, “automotive has historically been a male-dominated industry and we’re making sure that we put a spotlight on the women in the industry who are making strides towards our sustainable future.”
The series encouraged stimulating debate between panels made up of inspiring women in our sector from across the world. This covered Marketing & Communications, HR, OEM’s to Engineering, NGO’s and Campaigns.
Our CMO, Bárbara Calixto, was a guest speaker on a session focused on how women can drive leadership and inspire change in the EV industry.
Diversity in the workplace
It was and continues to be important to take the lead on a non-negotiable: diversity at work. We want to stand out. Not just because of the groundbreaking technology that’s behind our products, but equally because of who we are and what our values stand for.
While the top of the automotive industry tends to be dominated by males, we carried out a survey late last year which provided key insights into the demographics of EV owners in some of our markets.
During the session, Bárbara stated how important it was to reflect the balance of those users by addressing diversity in the workplace.
“By having more women in the company you hear a different point of view, a different way of analysing and building things. You can change this dynamic”, said Bárbara.
And it’s very true. In what is one of the fastest growing industries on the planet, inclusion and diversity has never been more important.
Over the last 12 months, we’ve grown to almost 600 people globally and the number of women in leadership positions has jumped from 4 to 23.
To date, more than 150 women work with us. Their roles vary from working on the production line, right through to designing our products, while we now have 2 women in the C-suite. As Bárbara said, “don’t fit people into roles or skill sets that may not come intrinsically. Women may sometimes move away from more tech-oriented, male-oriented positions.”
Catering to the wants and needs of today’s and tomorrow’s EV customers will be vital, so this figure looks set to only increase even more in the near future.
The end of the event included an interactive Q&A session, check out some of the key takeaways from an engaging afternoon with stakeholders across the industry.
EV Summit: How do you think flexible working can help women reach leadership positions?
Bárbara: “It took a global pandemic for us to learn some of this! The flexibility of technology is very important – the more people and companies who commit to this – which they have done in the last year – the better it will work”.
EV Summit: What advice would you give someone making a big career change, Bárbara?
Bárbara: “I’ve done this a few times in my own career, so I hope this can be valuable!
“Focus on what you can transfer from one area or job to another… As we’ve said before, women are particularly good at seeing what we can’t do, compared to men. That goes for applying for jobs.
“Building relationships, networking with people who are willing to make a bet on you. I think that’s a good way to make a start.”
You can find out more about the work EV Summit is doing here.