The winners of the 2023 Autocar Great Women: Rising Stars award have been announced, recognising the motoring industry’s best up-and-coming female talent spanning 11 categories.
Held in conjunction with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and assisted by executive search specialists Ennis & Co, the Autocar Great Women awards celebrate the most successful rising stars across a wide section of the industry, employed by firms from JLR and Mini to Pendragon.
There were 124 Rising Stars recognised across 11 classes – as well as a category winner in each class. All Rising Stars were judged to be outstanding in their field and recognised today at the annual Autocar Great Women event, held this year at Stellantis’s UK headquarters in Coventry.
Among the winners were Julie Stears, chief engineer at JLR responsible for engineering quality; Megan Harrall, Mini UK’s strategy, planning and operations manager; and Emma Whyld, Toyota UK’s section manager for employee relations. Whyld was named winner in the new ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’ category, which recognises those making the automotive sector more appealing to a wider range of people.
Mark Tisshaw, Autocar’s editor, said the standards were higher than ever this year. “The quality of our entries was so strong that it made judging not only more difficult but more enjoyable than ever before," he said. "I know all of our winners will continue to showcase our industry at its best, both in their fast-progressing careers and personal development. We will watch their careers grow with great interest.”
Chair of the judging panel and managing director of Haymarket Automotive Rachael Prasher added: "I want to congratulate all of the winners and Great Women of 2023. Seeing the breadth and depth of talent and the sheer variety of roles in the automotive industry is inspiring. As we navigate our way through seismic industry change, such talent and diversity of thought has never been more vital"
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The competition for the Great Women awards gets stronger every year, with this year’s exceptionally high calibre of entries making the judging process tougher but more rewarding than ever. Congratulations to the winners, all rising stars in their fields, whose success across such a broad range of roles is evidence of the many career opportunities automotive has to offer.
“Highlighting the achievements of these future business leaders can only help attract more talented people from all backgrounds and with differing skill sets into automotive jobs – and we need them all as we strive to transform the industry and, indeed, mobility in the UK and globally.”