Autocar Great Women: Rising Stars 2021

Autocar Great Women: Rising Stars 2021, an initiative run by Autocar in association with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, celebrates the up-and-coming stars of the British automotive industry.

The industry’s top rising stars will be announced on 15 June from 2.00-4.00pm at a virtual event that will celebrate all of our winners and host several keynote speeches and debates. Register here.

The top candidates will be selected from the following areas of the car industry: aftersales and workshop, design, manufacturing, marketing, mobility and digital solutions, operations, people development, PR and communications, purchasing, sales and vehicle development. In addition, there will be an apprentice category. Information on each category is detailed below.

A winner will be selected in each category, with an overall victor then chosen from that shortlist. Individuals can put themselves forward for consideration, or can be nominated by friends, colleagues and employers. 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.

Those nominating will need to supply evidence of the nominee’s potential to rise to the top of the industry. There is no limit on the number of nominations submitted, but they must be registered by 11.59pm on 16 April.

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AFTERSALES AND WORKSHOP - Open to anyone working in an aftersales or workshop environment. This category is specifically retail, workshop and garage focused, but entries from other areas of the industry will be considered. The scale of the operation you work in is not as important as your ability to demonstrate potential to rise within the industry.

DESIGN - Open to anyone who works on the design side of the industry, whether for a major OEM or a small supplier. We want to see evidence that you are rising fast in automotive design with ambitions to be among the very best.

MANUFACTURING - 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.

MARKETING - Open to anyone who holds a 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, be it on a local, regional, national or international level.

MOBILITY AND DIGITAL SOLUTIONS - Open to anyone who is 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.

OPERATIONS (including finance, purchasing) - Open to anyone whose role encompasses an 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 rising stars who are making a difference to the core fabric of their business.

PEOPLE DEVELOPMENT (including HR) - Open to anyone whose role is focused on maximising talent within an automotive business, within the OEM, supplier and retail environments. This could cover both attracting new talent and developing existing talent to its full potential.

PR & COMMUNICATIONS - Open to anyone who holds a 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).

PURCHASING - Open to anyone who works in the procurement side of a business, be that a large OEM or smaller supplier or retailer. The size of the business isn’t important, but you should demonstrate that you can bring cost savings to a business using innovative thinking and/or a successful relationship with suppliers.

SALES - Open to anyone whose role encompasses sales for an OEM, supplier or retailer. This could range from running a key part of a sales operation for a UK importer through to consistently breaking targets in a showroom environment.

VEHICLE DEVELOPMENT - Open to anyone whose role encompasses vehicle development for an OEM or supplier. This covers every area of development of new or revised vehicles, engineering and testing.


APPRENTICE - Open to anyone working on an apprenticeship scheme at the time of entry within 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.