Press release

Making Diversity and Inclusion a Business Reality

AUTO INDUSTRY MAKING DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION PROGRESS, BUT THERE’S STILL TOO FEW WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP ROLES

According to the second annual Making diversity and inclusion a Business Reality White Paper, published today, diversity and inclusion (D&I) is climbing the agenda for the majority of businesses, but there remain too few people from diverse backgrounds in leadership roles. The White Paper, produced in partnership by Auto Trader and executive search specialists, Ennis & Co., tracks the D&I behaviours and commitments of many of the UK’s leading automotive retailers and manufacturers.

Featuring brand new research conducted by employee insight specialists, Qlearsite, the White Paper reveals that 88% of the automotive organisations surveyed encouragingly identify D&I as a key priority; an increase from 85% in 2018. Reflecting the fundamental business requirement to evolve alongside the rapidly increasing sophistication of the industry, 53% believe the need to attract and retain a greater array of skills and experiences was the primary motivation for driving a D&I agenda. Although the number is falling, 7% of automotive businesses said its D&I focus was to comply with legal requirements, indicating that for nearly one in 10, D&I disappointingly remains a tick boxing exercise.

Reassuringly, the research revealed that whilst there is clearly room for improvement, the general perception within the industry is that D&I progress has been made over the last 12 months: 61% of respondents said their progress had been ‘fair’ or ‘good’, whilst just over a quarter (28%) felt it had been ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’.

Organisations have largely shown a positive commitment to modernising ways of working, with 56% claiming to offer flexibility in working arrangements, 36% redefining how teams work and 29% have begun developing a business case for better work-life balance. Clearly, significant progress is being made towards enabling employees to tailor their work lives around the priorities in their personal lives, but worryingly, one in five (22%) organisations believe they haven’t made any progress in these areas.

What’s working?

According to this year’s study, the industry is progressing towards achieving a more diverse and inclusive workforce and environment, frequently attributing the progress to improvements in training and development of existing talent (36%) and recruitment of new talent (19%).

The top two most pressing issues around D&I are both centred around leadership. The lack of people from under-represented groups reaching senior and C-suite roles within the automotive industry is considered the most pressing (33% agree), closely followed by the automotive sector failing to see diversity as a business-critical leadership issue and therefore not demonstrating commitment from

its senior leadership (29% agree). When asked what needs to be done, leadership and gender are the top two actions prioritised across the 2018 and 2019 reports, suggesting the industry wants more women in senior roles.

Commenting on the findings, Auto Trader’s Manufacturer and Agency Director, Rebecca Clark, said: “All of the data shows that retailers that represent the communities in which they serve provide a better, and more profitable, in-dealership experience for their customers. And crucially, as the industry rapidly evolves in terms of how people buy cars, pay for them, and the cars themselves, new skills and ways of thinking will be fundamental at every single level. It’s rewarding to see recognition at such a senior level that a D&I strategy that can attract and retain the very best talent is no longer a nice to have, but critical to success. Our report shows whilst we have some way to go, we’re making some great progress - I cannot wait to see where we’ll be in a year’s time.”

Lynda Ennis, founder of Ennis & Co., commented: “The automotive sector continues to undergo challenges and exciting changes. We now see ourselves at a positive turning point when it comes to diversity and inclusion, yet there is still work to be done. I hasten to add – this isn’t a negative comment. By realising what requires more attention in the D&I field, we can eliminate just the ‘conversation’ aspect and implement more action. If we continue to identify the aspects that require further attention and make changes that could lead to positive, reinforced change across the industry, this will help us to do more than simply just survive but to grow and thrive too.”

 The report includes commentary and best practice advice from a range of industry senior executives, including Daksh Gupta (CEO, Marshall Motor Group), Mandeep Dhatt (Executive Director of HR, McLaren Automotive), Matt Davies (HR Director, Addison Lee Group) and Gill Crowther (General Manager, HR & Administration, Mitsubishi Motors), who joined circa 90 HR directors, MDs and CEOs for a one day collaborative seminar in May, hosted by Auto Trader and Ennis & Co.

To download a free copy of the report, please visit:

https://cdn-autotraderplc.azureedge.net/media/1647/making-di-a-business-reality-2019.pdf

- ENDS-

About Auto Trader

Auto Trader Group plc is the UK and Ireland's largest digital automotive marketplace. Auto Trader sits at the heart of the UK's vehicle buying process and its primary activity is to help vehicle retailers compete effectively on the marketplace in order to sell more vehicles, faster. Auto Trader listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2015 and is now a member of the FTSE 100 Index.

The marketplace brings together the largest and most engaged consumer audience. Auto Trader has over 90% prompted brand awareness and attracts circa 50 million monthly cross platform visits each month, with over 70% of visits coming through mobile devices.

The marketplace also has the largest pool of vehicle sellers (listing around 450,000 cars each day). Around 80% of UK automotive retailers advertise on autotrader.co.uk.

For more information, please visit http://about-us.autotrader.co.uk  

About Ennis & Co

Ennis & Co is a global executive search and consultancy firm, working across all aspects of the automotive sector, from manufacture to retail, as well as the supply chain and support services such as third-party suppliers and related associations. Within this broad remit, Ennis & Co recruits all disciplines at a senior level. Based in Winchester, Hampshire, Ennis & Co is run by Lynda Ennis, and managing director, Jamie Ashman.

For more information, please contact:

Andrew Nankervis | Andrew.nankervis@autotrader.co.uk  

The car of 2050 will be fully #autonomous with a built-in mattress. So how would you spend your time in the car of the future? https://t.co/h6gy3avp7v #carofthefuture #FutureOfMobility #AutonomousVehicles https://t.co/zy6ZxKBt65
Interest in #newcars on @AutoTrader_UK peaked on 17 March last year, indicating strong demand in the most important month of the year for new car sales . If you’re looking for help with new car #sales , just ask us! #happytohelp #Automotive https://t.co/tZDpeDpVfX
Fancy changing the colour and style of your car from the tap of an app? According to our latest report on the future of the car; advances in tech mean this feature could be widely available as early as 2040-https://t.co/h6gy3avp7v #AutonomousVehicles #ElectricVehicles #Mobility https://t.co/YHGHjzvTd8
Did you know that demand growth for #diesel cars far outstripped the growth in supply in January? With the speed of diesel stock turn increasing, are you taking advantage of this opportunity? Know your market #automotive #ATInsights https://t.co/6eRIY2k47t
We’re officially the UK’s 10th best brand for #online services as recommended by our customers. Thanks @YouGov! https://t.co/ORsYyIEr7P #automotive #customersatisfaction #Voiceofthecustomer https://t.co/CxmP6753HX
In case you missed @AutoRetail's recent webinar. You can watch again here https://t.co/EO1UdR1X1U
EVs: There are more than you think on the market... https://t.co/4D80KBGDwr
Demand can vary regionally on a weekly basis, so it pays to know your market. #automotive #atinsight https://t.co/TH3RBrlpWd
Have you seen our latest webinar on Auto Trader Awards? Watch now to see us talk in more detail about the criteria for Highly Rated. https://t.co/wYkUoiIrz0 #automotive #AutoTrader #ATAwards https://t.co/iiLJbX5EW3
With the busiest sales month of the year fast approaching, let us help take your brand new cars out of hiding and seen by 1.5 million new car shoppers every month. Find out how here: https://t.co/Zsb9UUCLVQ https://t.co/0LEHSgSPJ6

Auto Trader Group plc
Registered in England (Company number: 09439967)

Auto Trader Limited
Registered in England and Wales (Company number: 03909628)

Registered address:

1 Tony Wilson Place
Manchester
M15 4FN
VAT number: GB 614 8918 20

Keep in touch

We use social media to speak to the UK’s largest car buying audience