IMI publishes diversity report

The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has published the final Diversity Task Force report, which has identified five key steps to take the lack of diversity within the sector.

IMI President professor Jim Saker said: “The Task Force set out to understand how the sector can be more attractive to work in for all individuals. We wanted to understand what groups are under-represented and what the experience is like if you are not part of the majority so that we can bring the issue of diversity and inclusion to the top of the agenda for automotive businesses.

“What has been particularly striking is that the lack of diversity – which unfortunately is already poor in our sector – becomes even more pronounced the higher up the pay-grade. Without diverse role models the sector will struggle to attract the talent that we urgently need as we face the biggest skills shortage for more than 20 years.”

New analysis from the IMI has found that automotive vacancies are at their highest level for 20 years – at more than 23,000 – accounting for approximately four per cent of the workforce.

A more diverse workforce is critical to turn the tide and the lack of role models is a fundamental barrier to achieving that goal.

IMI chief operating officer Lesley Woolley said: “All the Task Force working groups said that culture needs to change, behaviours need to change. That change needs buy-in from senior leadership. Each of the working groups also call for the industry to openly share more data on the make-up of the workforce to provide the benchmark to reflect on and measure against.”

The is calling for employers to take five actions to address the balance: put diversity and inclusion on every board agenda; understand your workforce through better data collection and communication; ask staff what changes would make a big difference to them; consider policies, procedures, website, customer journey and ways of working to create an inclusive environment; and promote diversity in outreach programmes for schools.