Autocar's Great Women in the British Car Industry initiative celebrates the top 100 women in the automotive world based on their seniority and level of influence.

Run by Autocar, in association with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the industry’s top 100 will be announced online as a digital event on 16 September 2020 when, as in previous years, we will celebrate all our winners and host several keynote speeches, panelists and debates. More details will follow in due course. 

The top 100 will be selected from the following areas of the car industry: Aftersales and workshop, Executive, Marketing, Manufacturing, Operations, People development, PR and comms, Sales, Vehicle development and Mobility and digital.

Sitting outside the top 100, there is also a category for apprentices to celebrate new talent within the industry. 

Information on each category is detailed below.

A winner will be selected in each of the industry sectors, with an overall winner then selected from that shortlist.

We’ve made one notable change from previous years. The initiative is now called ‘Great Women in the British Car Industry’ rather than ‘Great British Women in the Car Industry’. This is in order to recognise both foreign nationals based in Britain and working in the car industry, as well as all British passport holders working anywhere in the global car industry.

Nominations for the 2020 awards have now closed.



Aftersales and workshop

Open to anyone working in a senior role in the aftersales or workshop environment. This category is specifically retail, workshop and garage focused, but we are open to entries from other areas of the industry if appropriate. Enter if you can demonstrate leadership of big teams, and operations in this area, and how you have contributed to their success.


Open to any senior manager in either the OEM, retail or supplier environments. If your skill set crosses over to one of the other categories too, please enter both categories; the judges will place you where they feel it most appropriate if appropriate. Enter here if you not only lead big teams, but companies, and are responsible for their direction and success.


Open to anyone who holds a senior marketing role for an OEM, supplier or retailer. You must be able to demonstrate that your input makes a difference to the way that customers interact with or perceive your brand, typically on a national or international level. Entrants should also be able to show evidence of their work transforming a brand or product, and how it is perceived.


Open to anyone whose senior role encompasses sales for an OEM, supplier or retailer. This could range from running leading sales operations for a UK importer through to consistently breaking targets across a retail group. Successful entrants will be able to demonstrate consistently beating targets in their leadership of sales operations.

PR & Communications

Open to anyone who holds a senior PR or communications role for an OEM, supplier or retailer. You must be able to demonstrate that your input makes a difference to the way that your brand is perceived by customers, your direct community and internal stakeholders (or other areas, as appropriate). Entrants will lead big teams, and be able to show how their work has influenced the success of their company.

Operations (including finance, purchasing)

Open to anyone whose senior role encompasses a senior operations element in the OEM, supplier and sales environments. This includes finance and purchasing. This is a broad category, but deliberately so, in order to highlight those who are making a difference to the core fabric of their business. Enter here if you can demonstrate your integral role in the success of a company.

People development (including HR)

Open to anyone whose senior role is focused on maximising talent within an automotive business, within the OEM, supplier and retail environments. This could cover both the attraction of new talent and the development of existing talent to its full potential. Successful entrants will be able to show leadership and development of their organisation's staff, and any initiatives that will have contributed to that success.


Open to anyone whose role encompasses manufacturing for an OEM or supplier. This can cover small or large scale manufacturing, ranging from prototype to full-scale assembly, but always at a senior level. Enter if you are leading a manufacturing facility, or group of them, and can demonstrate how you have made them more successful.

Mobility and digital solutions

This category has a focus on any aspects of work that cover business change, be they driven by digital or technical innovation. If your job didn't exist 10 years ago, then you should enter this category. Areas of business include, but are not restricted to: customer experience, customer insight, customer relationships, car retail changes, including subscription services, future mobility options and any digital innovation. You should have a senior role in one of these areas to enter. Entrants will also be able to demonstrate thought leadership, and provide examples of how their companies have adopted their new products or initiatives.

Vehicle development (including design and styling)

Open to anyone whose role encompasses vehicle development for an OEM or supplier at a senior level. This covers every area of development of new or revised vehicles, including design, engineering and testing - but it is restricted to the development of the vehicle rather than activities related to its sale or marketing (which are covered by other categories). Successful entrants would have played a key role in the creation of a number of successful products.


This category sits outside the top 100 and is designed to celebrate and encourage the next generation of automotive talent.


Open to anyone working on an apprenticeship scheme at the time of entry within both the retail and manufacturer environments. Applicants must demonstrate an enthusiasm for the chosen specialism and a future career within the car industry. A clear vision of what you want to achieve during your career AND how you expect to achieve it should be demonstrated.