Currently reading: Nominations for Autocar Great Women: Rising Stars now open
Due to take place on 15 June, the event will recognise the motoring industry’s best female rising stars
4 mins read
15 February 2021

On the occasion of International Women's Day (IWD), we continue to receive nominations and entries for the 2021 Autocar Great Women: Rising Stars event. Autocar's groundbreaking annual industry initiative celebrates up-and-coming female stars in the British automotive industry, chiming well with IWD's aim of being "a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women."

The global IWD campaign first launched in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March, when more than a million men and women marched demanding the rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. Today, it's a global event and is even celebrated as a holiday in countries as diverse as Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.

Autocar's event, which is now in its sixth year, will recognise prominent female rising stars at an awards event on 15 June. To enter, click here.

Run in partnership with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Autocar’s Great Women: Rising Stars initiative honours the achievements of future leaders across the breadth of the automotive sector.

Autocar recognises the industry’s up-and-coming stars from a total of 12 categories (listed in full below), with one overall winner taking home the top award.

New for 2021, the Design category encourages entries from the design side of the industry, whether that’s for a major manufacturer or a small supplier. The aim is to celebrate the industry’s creativity, championing women who have used ingenious design to either create beautiful products or solve engineering problems.

Another category, for apprentices, celebrates women who are just starting their career in the industry.

Haymarket Automotive managing director Rachael Prasher will lead the judging panel for Autocar’s Great Women. She will be joined by a mix of industry experts, including Jim Holder, Mark Tisshaw and Piers Ward from Autocar’s editorial team, as well as the SMMT’s chief executive, Mike Hawes, and head of communications, Karen Parry.

Prasher said: “We are all so proud to be entering the sixth year of our Great Women initiative, and the third which focuses on the industry’s innumerable rising stars.

“Every year the judging becomes more challenging as increasing numbers of women are nominated by their leaders, peers and colleagues. It's always incredible to see the range of female talent across a huge number of different roles within the automotive sector. The opportunity, through this initiative, to shine a spotlight on those individuals is something the whole judging panel looks forward to every year.”

Hawes said. “We're proud to be working alongside Autocar once again to recognise some of the women who have recently chosen to work within the automotive sector and are making a substantial difference. This initiative promotes the opportunities available within UK automotive across many disciplines, opportunities that we need filled by the very best from all backgrounds and genders. This is essential if the automotive business is to shape the important future of mobility for everyone.”


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Since launching in 2016, Autocar has alternated its Great Women awards each year to recognise both the most influential women in the industry and rising stars.

In 2019, Emma King was overall winner of the Rising Stars award. The senior purchasing manager of EV battery cells for Ford was chosen from the nine category winners as 2019’s overall winner, having made a significant contribution to the company’s $11 billion electrification strategy.

Last year, PSA Group UK managing director Alison Jones was named the most influential woman in the British automotive industry, ahead of a host of highly respected category winners including Lisa Reeves, head of interior design at Volvo Cars, and Michelle Roberts, marketing director at BMW UK.

Linda Jackson, then PSA Group executive vice-president, was the first inductee into the Great Women Hall of Fame.

Nominations for this year’s awards must be registered by 23.59pm on 16 April and can be submitted by candidates themselves or by their peers. Please look far and wide within your organisation for women to nominate; we’re encouraging people to think outside of their immediate team for people deserving of an award. Click here to enter.

The shortlisted winners will be revealed at the virtual ceremony on 15 June before the overall victor is announced that same day. The awards will run from 2.00pm to 4.00pm and will feature speeches from key industry figures (to be announced soon) as well as interviews with the Rising Star winners.

More details of the 2021 Autocar Great Women initiative can be found here.

The full list of categories is: Apprentice, Aftersales and Workshop, Design, Manufacturing, Marketing, Mobility and Digital Solutions, Operations, People Development, PR and Communications, Purchasing, Sales and Vehicle Development. 


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