Bentley Motors is delighted that as it continues its journey to become the most sustainable luxury automotive brand, three female colleagues have been recognised by the Automotive 30% Club in its Inspiring Automotive Women Awards for 2020.
“Today we celebrate and recognise the most inspiring women in the sector, nominated by colleagues and peers. We have heard wonderful uplifting stories of how all these amazing women have not only added significant value to their businesses, but are also encouraging others to improve and progress, or giving much needed support to their team members through the unsettling impact of the pandemic. They are actively involved in creating inclusive environments, and are also engaged in activities to show that automotive is a positive career choice for women.
They are lifting other women as they rise, and as per the motto of the suffragette movement, they are taking real action with “deeds not words.” All of these truly fabulous women deserve our heartfelt appreciation for their outstanding contribution to making our industry more vibrant, exciting, warm, collaborative and successful. I’d like to say a special congratulations to all of our winners on winning their thoroughly deserved award, and being a Game Changer in the automotive sector,” said Julia Muir, CEO Gaia Innovation, Founder of the Automotive 30% Club.
One of Bentley’s digital and technology degree apprentices – Lilly Hulse, was named Rising Star of the year. Lilly, who grew up locally in Cheshire joined Bentley in September 2019 and has hit the ground running. Lilly combines her role as a core part of Bentley’s digital team with working towards her degree in Digital & Technology Solutions at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Lilly’s nomination recognised the key role she played in Bentley’s response to COVID-19 as part of the team designing apps and software to help the business manage site risk assessments and plan the safe movement and socially distanced seating arrangements of colleagues who returned to site. Aged just 20, Lilly has also worked on a solution to unlock data and share key information with senior executives, and her “AutoSwitch” concept for an app providing an all-in-one platform for car retail services and car trading earned her a place as a finalist in the Autocar Drivers of Change initiative.
Mariam Zahedi is a Technical Manager within Bentley’s Manufacturing Systems team where the holistic experience she has gained across a range of manufacturing projects drives her latest role focusing on a new manufacturing system and strategy to help deliver Bentley’s future products and Beyond100 strategy. A proactive communicator with solid change management skills, Mariam supports a number of STEM outreach activities to encourage more women and girls to consider a career in manufacturing and is cited as an inspiring leader by her colleagues.
As Bentley’s first Head of Diversity, Anne-Kathrin Altendorf oversaw the development of Bentley’s comprehensive Be-Inclusive Diversity Wins training programme, which saw over 800 Bentley people managers trained remotely in 2020. Anne-Kathrin, who now moves to a new role at Porsche AG, also designed the diversity strategy that forms a key part of Bentley’s Beyond100 programme and has worked with groups around the business to develop networks that will support colleagues from a variety of backgrounds.
“Creating a truly diverse and inclusive workforce – to develop our products and services of the future – is a key part of our Beyond100 strategy. We aim to achieve 30 per cent of diversity candidates in management positions by 2030 – so we are delighted to continue working with the Automotive 30% Club on their efforts to promote inspiring female colleagues and the wide range of opportunities for women within our sector.
“I strongly believe that digital transformation will play a key role in attracting a more diverse range of people – from all walks of life – into our sector. Our three Bentley winners demonstrate that digital transformation and extraordinary people not only play a fundamental part in our Beyond100 strategy – but that these are areas where there is huge opportunity to attract and develop more women into the business. Thank you and congratulations to Lilly, Mariam and Anne-Kathrin for all that you have done to inspire us,” commented Dr. Astrid Fontaine, Member of the Board for People, Digitalisation and IT.
Bentley employs around 4,000 people at Crewe in the United Kingdom where the company’s three model lines, Continental, Flying Spur and Bentayga are built. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury car brands such as Bentley.
Photographs by Bentley Motors.