Gender gap widens despite diversity steps

Diversity within automotive is much improved, but there is still further to go.

That is the verdict of the most recent report published by the IMI’s Diversity Task Force, Driving Towards Inclusion.

It has revealed that the proportion of automotive employees with a disability has increased by 2.2% since the Diversity Task Force’s first report was published in 2022, while the proportion of non-white British employees in the industry has risen to 13%.

However, female representation in the workforce has taken a backward step, falling 2.1% in the past two years to 17.5% of the total workforce.

And signs are not encouraging that it will change any time soon, with women making up just four per cent of all automotive apprentices.

Sally-Anne Hodder, head of equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging at the IMI, said: “The Diversity Task Force’s report clearly shows that automotive needs to unite to take decisive action to reach proportional representation. Some progress has been made in the past two years, but that progress is too slow which is why we are renewing our call for businesses and individuals to join the IMI’s Diversity Task Force Working Group and help drive change. By sharing stories, best practices, and lived experiences we can build on the progress of the last three years and create significant change for our sector.

“A more diverse workforce brings greater business success and helps workplaces and industries appeal to a wider pool of candidates. Furthermore, with our sector facing its biggest-ever skills challenge over the next decade, recruiting, cultivating and supporting a diverse workforce will go a long way in bridging the skills gap whilst continuing to deliver the services our customers need.”