Currently reading: Citroen boss Linda Jackson calls for more diversity in car industry
Jackson wants the industry to lead the way on equality for other sectors

Citroen boss Linda Jackson has called on the automotive industry to set an example to other sectors on the need for diversity in the workplace.

Talking at Autocar’s Great British Women in the automotive industry event, Jackson said: “Automotive is one of the most pioneering industries when it comes to future technology, so why can’t we become a leader in equality and diversity and show other sectors how it’s done?”

She said the debate should not be “anchored in pure equality terms [but] be about gender-neutrality. In other words, if you’re marking a difference, standing out, you should progress whatever you gender.”

Acknowledging that the industry remains “massively male-dominated,” Jackson highlighted an Institute of the Motor Industry report which states the automotive staffing mix is a 10 to 2 ratio of men to women. She added: “The age-old stereotypes still exist of men as the car mechanics and car buyers and women as the meek and mild partners who like pink and can’t park.”

She said that part of the imbalance was the need to address the gender pay gap. According to published government figures, no car dealerships pay women the same or more than men and a quarter of car makers pay women less.

Click here to see the winners of Autocar's Great British Women in the Car Industry 2018

“The bottom line is that firms that employ women are more profitable. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact,” she said.

Jackson added that in the future, she hopes that gender, ethnicity, age and nationality all become insignificant in the workplace.

“The fact is, we need diversity at every level, through an organization not just as leaders or senior faces or figures. It’s important to make sure our voices are heard, understood, accepted and not overlooked.”

At PSA Group, Citroen’s parent company, one in five group managers are women. At Citroen headquarters, 38% of employees are women “and rising,” said Jackson.

Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

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DBtechnician 20 June 2018

Fit for purpose,,,

As with the correct tool for the job, you need the right person for each job, this should be based on skill sets not gender or an affinity with rainbow colors. Getting the "so called right mix of genders" and going by some think tanks perception of equallity and what is PC is a great way to employ the wrong candidate and watch your company go belly up. 

WallMeerkat 20 June 2018

I don't care who they employ

I don't care who they employ so long as they are good at their job

But would love to see diversity in *model ranges* these ranges of small-medium-large SUVs aren't inspiring.

Bolida 20 June 2018

Anti PC brigade

WallMeerkat wrote:

I don't care who they employ so long as they are good at their job

But would love to see diversity in *model ranges* these ranges of small-medium-large SUVs aren't inspiring.

deflecting from the issue. Many industries/ positions are ingrained with a culture that make them male dominated. I think it’s great that she is where she is but amazed that in 2018 it should still be an issue , we haven’t progressed very far.