Inspiring Automotive Women Awards

Added: 20 September 2022

TrustFord, the UK and the World’s largest Ford dealer group is celebrating as five colleagues have been awarded an Inspiring Automotive Women Award 2021, for the third year running.  

Clare Bennett Aftersales Manager, Heather Bennett Regional Human Resources Manager, Workshop Controller Jo Castle, Sarah Knighting, Group Marketing Manager and Commercial Business Manager Siobhan Mckenzie were selected as five of the winners, after being nominated for their outstanding work by colleagues. All winners came together ‘virtually’ this afternoon for a celebration event hosted by Julia Muir.

Clare Bennett has given real inspiration in devising, supporting, and developing TrustFord’s gender balance plan. She has thrown herself into the efforts to boost gender balance, supporting TrustFord’s D&I strategy in a number of ways. She’s a dedicated member of the ‘Leading Ladies’ group, offering her insight and support in a safe space for female colleagues to discuss development, their working lives, or any other issues.

Heather Bennett has worked in a variety of roles within the business and was recently promoted to Regional Human Resources Manager. Heather has supported TrustFord’s work on diversity and inclusion through her work on projects such as the Prince’s Trust scheme, which resulted in recruiting young people from a range of backgrounds.

Jo Castle is one of only a few female workshop controllers at TrustFord and is a real pioneer. She has changed attitudes in the workshop around what a good Workshop Controller is and the Technicians rely on her support. Jo’s performance has made it easier for TrustFord to create a more inclusive culture and will help pave the way for more women to join automotive.

Sarah Knighting is the Group Marketing Manager at TrustFord and is responsible for planning all Group Marketing campaigns, with direct responsibility for new car, CV, and Fleet Marketing. She has a deep sense of what is fair and will call out anything she observes that doesn’t align with TrustFord’s culture or D&I agenda.

As Commercial Vehicle Business Manager Siobhan took on a disengaged, underperforming team and transformed the situation. She has changed what was a stereotypical male environment and driven positive change in the way TrustFord processes deals, looks after customers, and meets compliance obligations.

The Inspiring Automotive Women Awards are run by the UK Automotive 30% Club, and have been designed to recognise and celebrate the unsung heroes of the automotive industry.

In line with their ambition to be an employer of choice, TrustFord has a proactive strategy to increase the number of women in its business, and are proud members of the UK Automotive 30% Club, which was established in 2016, with its members making a commitment to working towards having 30% of its key leadership positions filled by women by 2030, a target TrustFord have already met.

Stuart Foulds, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TrustFord, said:

“I am extremely proud that Clare, Heather Jo, Sarah and Siobhan have been awarded an Inspiring Automotive Women Award. Not only do they inspire and motivate their colleagues by leading through example, they provided vital support to the TrustFord family in what has been a challenging few years.”

“Improving diversity within our TrustFord Family is a huge part of our ultimate goal of being an Employer of Choice, so it’s incredibly important for our business to have strong female leaders such as these in our midst as they are helping pave the way for the next generation, who will help shape the automotive industry.”

Julia Muir, CEO Gaia Innovation, Founder of the UK Automotive 30% Club, added:

“I am very proud to be able to celebrate our wonderful Inspiring Automotive Women Award Winners for the third year running. In the short time since I started this initiative to recognise the most inspiring women in the sector, our Automotive 30% Club membership has grown to include more than 50 business leaders, and our campaign to achieve a better gender balance has gained signi?cant momentum.

Today we recognise all of the brilliant women who have not only made a great contribution to the success of the business in their day job, they have also been fabulous role models to colleagues, overcoming challenges and adversity, and lifting and motivating others as they have risen in their careers.

As wonderful ambassadors and advocates for the sector they have inspired the next generation of young women to join the automotive industry, and have promoted their companies as inclusive employers of choice. I thank them all for the great work they are doing to make the automotive sector an environment in which diverse women can thrive, and urge all of our automotive women to continue to make a difference and take more action to drive through the necessary change, because with positive in?uence and an amazing ability to inspire others comes the responsibility to act, and if not you then who? And if not now, when?”