Thursday, June 13, 2024

Volkswagen Group marks International Women’s Day with education, celebration and future commitments

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Automobile Magazine
Editor | News | United Kingdom

Volkswagen Group UK, the importer of Audi, SEAT, CUPRA, Škoda, Volkswagen Passenger Cars and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, is marking Friday’s International Women’s Day 2024 with activities to educate employees, celebrate its DE&I journey so far, and by making further commitments to a more inclusive and equitable future.

Managing Director, Alex Smith, has once again pledged his support to the UK’s Automotive 30% Club, a network of over 70 automotive MDs and CEOs who have made a commitment to be inclusive leaders and build diverse gender-balanced businesses. VWG has long been a part of the network, with Alex becoming the first Patron and Gold member back in 2022. Thanks to VWG’s commitment to gender balance and DE&I, it has exceeded and maintained its target to have at least 30 per cent of women in senior leadership roles two years early. Of course, the aim now is to increase this further. Overall the business has over 46 per cent female representation.

In addition to renewing its Automotive 30% Club membership, Volkswagen Group’s ‘We are Driven Women’ Employee Network Group, one of six ENGs dedicated to supporting the organisation’s DE&I journey, held a number of events in the week of International Women’s Day.

These included sharing the team’s strategy and plans for 2024, a combined session with other ENGs to understand more about intersectionality, an overview on talent development initiatives, and a collection for Smart Works, a charity that supports women approaching job interviews with practical tools and clothing.

On IWD itself there will be a webinar with guest speaker and business coach Debbie Hollingsworth, looking at behaviour styles and how individuals can fulfil their potential. All these activities are not only aimed at female staff, but also – importantly – their male and other colleagues who provide essential support as allies.

Sarah Cox-Thornley, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen UK and sponsor of the Driven Women ENG, said: “Rachel and Holly, co-chairs of Driven Women, along with the team, work tirelessly throughout the year to champion women in our business, with activities designed to ensure we foster an inclusive, non-threatening environment where all colleagues can bring their whole self to work – and thrive. International Women’s Day is just one day, but one when we can pause to celebrate our female colleagues and allies from across the business who support our ongoing journey to inclusivity.”

Commenting on VWG’s ongoing commitment to the Automotive 30% Club, Founder Julia Muir said: “I am very pleased that Alex Smith has renewed his Patron and Gold membership of the Club. He and the Volkswagen Group team are taking real action to create a gender-balanced and diverse organisation to reap the business success it brings. It is important on International Women’s Day that we acknowledge those authentic leaders like Alex who are driving significant and sustainable change all year round in order to remove the disadvantages historically faced by women in the workplace, and who are building high performing teams from the very best candidates from all talent pools. They are focused on genuine performance, rather than being performative.”

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