To support the development of the next generation of female talent, Bentley Motors has kicked off a bespoke mentoring programme for female students in the fields of technology, engineering, design and business.
Following the successful launch in the UAE last year, the programme is now being rolled out in the UK as part of Bentley’s strategy to encourage more women to consider the range of careers available in the automotive industry.
The launch event, named ‘Extraordinary Women’, brought together students from four UK partner universities; Crewe UTC and experts from within the business. Chaired by senior automotive journalist, Erin Baker and with the support of Bentley’s Member of the Board for Human Resources, Karen Lange, and Professor Georgina Harris from Arden University, the event consisted of three panel talks and the opportunity for the students to pitch a wide-range of questions about STEM careers, opportunities in automotive and how to bring more women into the industry to the panel.
“Our industry is changing faster now than at any time in the past and ensuring that we are diverse in every sense is an essential part of our Beyond100 strategy and our future success,” explained Dr Karen Lange, Member of the Board for Human Resources.
“Women remain under-represented in many key areas of our business, so with International Women’s Day approaching, it has been a great opportunity to focus on how we can lift the lid on the incredible range of careers we have to offer and encourage more women into the industry – as well as ensuring we support those who are already working with us.
“Mentoring is already an important development tool at Bentley and we recognise the benefits for both the mentor and the mentee. Extending this support to students hoping to develop a career in automotive through our future talent programmes is therefore a natural next step. We hope that combined with a week of work experience later this year, Extraordinary Women will provide a transformative opportunity for the selected students, by connecting them with experts who can share their insights and experience and help inspire them shape their own journeys.”
Bentley will now work with the partner universities to identity the students who will take part in the programme. In the UAE, where the initiative kicked off in December 2021, the four students who have been selected to take part in the programme were confirmed this week and they will join the UK mentees at Bentley’s Crewe headquarters for a one-week visit in June.
Hind Khalid Almaazmi, who is studying Design Management and Luxury Brand Marketing at the American University in Sharjah, reflects on having been invited to take part in the programme:
“I am excited to have been selected to take part in the Initiative. I am really looking forward to gaining insights in entrepreneurship and leadership from my mentor, Amna Al Habtoor, along with automotive design and craftsmanship skills from various women in the design team at Bentley Motors. It will also be great to travel to the UK and see the factory.”
Bentley Motors has accelerated its forward-thinking Beyond100 strategy, the boldest plan of its kind in the sector. Key to the ambitious programme will be the Five-in-Five plan, which commits Bentley to launching a new electric model each year, from 2025, redefining Bentley’s credentials as the benchmark manufacturer in sustainable luxury mobility.
Photographs by Bentley Motors.