Bentley Motors is leading the way for women in the STEM sector

As Bentley Motors celebrates its centenary year, the company is looking towards the next 100 by welcoming the next generation, 93 trainees to the business and 31 of them are women.

The 93 new recruits, consisting of apprentices, undergraduates and graduates, will be working across different areas of the business. This includes commercial areas such as Sales and Marketing, People and Digital, Finance and Purchasing, as well as the traditional Engineering and Manufacturing departments.

In the same week Dr. Astrid Fontaine, Member of the Board for People, Digitalisation & IT at Bentley Motors, has been announced as one of the top 100 Most Influential Women in the Engineering sector.

“This has quite rightly been a year of celebration, marking the extraordinary achievements this company has made over 100 years, however now is the time to look ahead. The industry is changing faster than ever and so recruiting the engineers, designers, marketeers and digital leaders of the future will be a key part in achieving our objective of becoming the leader in sustainable luxury mobility,” said Dr. Astrid Fontaine.

Discussing the record number of female recruits, with 31 working across the business, Dr. Fontaine continues:

“I am particularly proud that we are welcoming our highest ever female intake, 30 per cent, which not only shows the wide range of career opportunities for women in the automotive industry, but what we are achieving on our extraordinary journey to inclusiveness.”

Of the 93 new recruits, almost half, 46 apprentices start training at the company’s headquarters in Crewe, bringing the current number of apprentices in the business to over 130. Supporting the digital transformation of the company, 16 of the 46 are focusing on future digital technologies.

“I’m really pleased to be joining Bentley and I can’t wait to get started. I’ve had my Bentley induction over the past two years really, working on projects as part of my studies at the UTC, but to now be in the business, and working for such an iconic brand, on so many exciting technologies of the future, feeds me with enthusiasm,” said Georgia Griffiths, a former student at Bentley-supported Crewe Engineering and Design UTC, and now a Degree Apprentice specialising in Digital and Technology Solutions.

Dr. Astrid Fontaine – Member of the Board for People, Digitalisation & IT at Bentley Motors

Since joining Bentley, Dr. Fontaine has driven the development of a new digital strategy that will see the piloting of new digital services. Her team also drives the digital transformation of business processes, enterprise product and customer solutions.

As an ambassador for women in STEM, Dr Fontaine has also introduced the company’s first digital technology apprenticeship programme. She is fostering Bentley’s company-wide diversity programme, and this year the business welcomes the highest ever intake of female trainees to the business, with 35% of all new apprentices and 63% of the digital technology apprentices being female.

“With women still underrepresented across the STEM sector, the Inclusive Board report is an important initiative and I’m delighted to have been featured in the list published today. Our industry offers a wide range of career options from automotive design, engineering and manufacturing; through to information systems, technology and digitalisation, where I’ve been fortunate to be supported in the development of my own career,” continued Dr. Fontaine.

“As Bentley celebrates its centenary and enters its next 100 years, my priority is to ensure we attract a diverse range of candidates into all of our functions and develop their potential as part of our journey to inclusiveness,”  Dr. Fontaine concluded.

Inclusive Boards will also be publishing extensive research into engineering in the UK as well as the results of their diversity survey of the UK’s top 500 engineering firms by revenue.

Photographs by Bentley Motors.