Last week, we attended MOVE 2020, the world’s most important mobility event, where disruptive technology and innovation drive much-needed change. MOVE is a global stage for disruptive start-ups engineering the future of mobility and bringing some of the world’s most influential companies, investors and media together. But while the event showcased a diverse range of mobility disciplines and technologies, the reality is that the industry itself has a long way to go when it comes to gender diversity.
While MOVE 2020 played host to several fantastic female speakers, including Sophia Nadur from BP advanced mobility, Clare Jones from what3words and Caroline Hazlehurst from BIRD, the event itself was still hugely male-dominated, with one delegate taking it upon himself to approach me and ask if I was a dancer at the show. 😲 😲 😲 If I'm honest, I'm still in shock.
It was surprising to come up against such outdated attitudes at such a futuristic show. And although I'm confident that this point of view wasn't a common one within the room, it did highlight that we need to be promoting the necessity of diversity in the sector. Diversity isn’t just a nice to have, or a tick-box exercise, it’s an essential ingredient in improving business performance. In fact, gender-diverse companies are 21% more likely to outperform their competitors.
If mobility organisations want to deliver value for their customers, they need to invest in diverse talent, views and thinking that reflects the society in which we live and work. To ensure that we create a future of mobility that works for all, it must be built for all which means women need to be involved in every part of the process. Women need to be working across all levels of these organisations where they’re currently hugely underrepresented.
So, how can the mobility sector attract and retain more female talent? You can’t be what you can’t see, so raising the profile of women within the industry is critical. Sarah Noble, a Director within Deloitte’s Strategy & Operations Consulting practice, is a brilliant example of this. Sarah leads an initiative called Women at the Wheel, which aims to increase the number of female leadership positions within the automotive sector. The CEO of Women in Transport, Sonya Byers, is also a huge advocate, helping women in mobility with professional development, networking and mentoring.
If you also feel passionately about the need to raise the profile of women in mobility, we’d love for you to join our Women in Mobility Community. By volunteering to speak, share industry knowledge and by connecting with others, you can help our mission to advance the industry by making it more inclusive for members of all minority groups.
To join us, please connect with me on LinkedIn or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org