This year the AADA Conference proved to be a great opportunity for women in automotive to connect and start well overdue dialogue around diversity and inclusion in our industry. Following on from this a Collab[oration] Day was held in November with foundation members comprising of representation from medium to large sized public and private dealership groups, a national bank, a private consultancy group and one brave manufacturer.
Discussions centred on joint vision and legacy, influencing change, the sustainability of our industry and disrupting the status quo. Now the group are in the process of registering a proposed trading name with the Department of Fair Trade followed by ASIC to ensure legal frameworks are in place to support a planned membership network nationally.
A major consideration of the Management Committee structure was a leadership modelled based on diversity and inclusion. Megan McKenzie, Group HR Manager Frizelle Sunshine Automotive stated:
“This isn’t about bra burning or women wanting to push men out of the way, it’s about recognising we have to start making commercially viable business decisions on diversity and inclusion and putting strategies in place so that we stop lagging behind all other industry averages in virtually every classification.”
According to 2018 WGEA data for the last 5 years the automotive industry has stagnated and it’s now a known fact! This group isn’t sitting on its hands, as it has the AADA advocating for the change as well.
Once the legal framework for the association is established there are plans to offer the network of members a platform to connect via a website, a mentoring program, online training and development, research and data insights, industry updates, networking events, along with Diversity and Inclusion Awards annually.
Membership fees will comprise of different levels to cater for individuals and corporations as well as sponsorship opportunities. Membership will be open to all progressive and innovative minds that wish to connect in the automotive industry, both male and female.