‘A lack of diversity is one of the biggest problems the industry faces’

With just six women and not one person from a BAME background making it onto our 2020 Brit List, editor-in-chief Steve Fowler thinks more needs to be done to tackle the problem of diversity

Now in its ninth year, the Auto Express Brit List has showcased some of the very best Automotive talent in the world. But our first and our most recent winners have two things in common.

Ford’s Steven Armstrong (this year’s winner) and Andy Palmer (2012) were both apprentices, starting their careers at the same place: Automotive Products in the Midlands. They share a continuing passion for apprenticeships, and they’re both working to ensure opportunities are given to the next generation of Brits.

Their work will help to address one of the biggest problems the industry faces, highlighted in this year’s Brit List – a shocking lack of diversity. We’d urge more industry leaders to make following their lead a priority.

We’re hugely disappointed this year that there are only six women on the Brit List and not one person from a BAME background. This is something that has to change, and everyone involved in the car business – ourselves included – needs to take some responsibility.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of industry body the SMMT, told us: “The shortage of women, representatives of the BAME community and other minority groups in this list is probably reflective of the wider British automotive workforce and reflects the scale of the challenge facing the sector.

“While most companies have programmes that are beginning to help, there is a huge amount still to be done to boost diversity, from production lines to boardrooms. The scale and pace of innovation in this sector require a rich diversity of skills, perspectives and experience, and the industry’s future success hinges on our ability to attract the best and brightest talent irrespective of backgrounds, races, genders or abilities. We need them all if we are to help shape the future of mobility in the UK and, indeed, globally.”

Let’s hope change happens sooner rather than later.

Check out the full 2020 Auto Express Brit List here

Recommended

'It's clear that lorry drivers deserve much-improved working conditions'
Truck
Opinion

'It's clear that lorry drivers deserve much-improved working conditions'

Mike Rutherford proposes some alternative options to help streamline British imports and exports
23 Jan 2021
'Gordon Murray is my British motor industry person of 2020'
Opinion

'Gordon Murray is my British motor industry person of 2020'

Mike Rutherford highlights his positive car industry stories of 2020
4 Jan 2021
'Citroen has changed the game and changed the lives of countless consumers'
Opinion

'Citroen has changed the game and changed the lives of countless consumers'

Mike Rutherford thinks the quirky new Citroen Ami is a true game-changing car
13 Dec 2020
'Power outages do nothing to inspire confidence in would-be EV buyers'
Opinion

'Power outages do nothing to inspire confidence in would-be EV buyers'

Mike Rutherford thinks the switch to an all-electric UK car market hasn't been thought through
29 Nov 2020

Most Popular

'If you invest in a Jaguar now, it’s going to look very out of date very quickly'
Electric Jaguar
Opinion

'If you invest in a Jaguar now, it’s going to look very out of date very quickly'

Jaguar's all-electric announcement has editor-in-chief Steve Fowler wondering what future cars will look like from the British brand
24 Feb 2021
Official: E10 petrol launches in September
Petrol pump
News

Official: E10 petrol launches in September

E10 petrol is up to 10 per cent ethanol and will be available at UK fuel stations from September 2021 as part of bid to cut CO2 emissions
25 Feb 2021
New 518bhp Land Rover Defender V8 joins range
Land Rover Defender 90 V8 - front
Land Rover Defender

New 518bhp Land Rover Defender V8 joins range

Land Rover’s new 5.0-litre V8 engine has made this the fastest Defender yet, with a 0-62mph time of 5.2 seconds
25 Feb 2021