The UK Automotive 30% Club Annual Conference Loughborough University School of Business and Economic

Julia Muir CEO of Gaia Innovation and Founder of the UK Automotive 30% Club has brought the first Annual Conference of this progressive group of automotive leaders to the Centre of Automotive Management at Loughborough University. Professor Jim Saker, a member of the UK Automotive 30% Club will be hosting the event at the School of Business and Economics on Friday 11th of November 2016.

Julia Muir has taken this opportunity to combine the conference with an event bringing 70 school girls to visit Loughborough’s engineering faculty and to personally meet the automotive leaders in a career speed networking session in the School of Business and Economics. Students studying at the University will also be given the opportunity to meet with automotive manufacturers and retailers who are currently looking to recruit graduates.

The event on 11th November is due to be opened by local MP Nicky Morgan, who was also until recently the Minister for Women and Equalities. It is hoped that the event will powerfully demonstrate graduate recruitment programmes as one of the many career pathways for female students into the automotive industry, starting with relevant degree choice, then job roles and career routes to the top. Nicky has taken particular interest in this event due to her previous role in government and also highlights her commitment to schools in her constituency, many of whom are attending on the day.

There are many factors affecting the transformation of global industries including globalisation and advancements in technology. These forces are dramatically impacting the job market at an ever increasing pace, resulting in a critical skills shortage. Traditional roles are becoming redundant and displaced while the need for ‘Future Skills’ is increasing. The World Economic Forum recently stated that “65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist” (World Economic Forum, 2016 pg. 1). Therefore, it is imperative that industry inform and educate the next generation so that they are equipped to fill the new and exciting roles of the future.

The UK Automotive 30% Club objectives are to increase the number of young women seeking careers in the automotive industry by means of introduction at grass roots, and building relationships between automotive employers and schools. The UK Automotive 30% Club is committed to the aspirational aim of filling 30% of key leadership positions with women by 2030 through a “30 by 30” strategy. This has started with the 2016 Reach Out campaign, where the UK Automotive 30% Club is connecting with schools, colleges and universities to spread the word about the great career opportunities available in the automotive industry with a “Connect - Try - Apply” message.

The Programme for the Day:

The University Schools Liaison team will be hosting a series of activities for the girls to gain an insight into studying engineering at Loughborough. The morning will be dedicated to exploring Engineering opportunities at university and having the chance to try out our industry standard equipment. Students will have an opportunity to take part in a range of interactive Engineering demonstrations which will include building their own buggy racer, experimenting with solar powered cars, a visit to the anechoic chamber, exploring a Formula one car and trying their hand at 3D printing – using chocolate.

Automotive leaders including Vertu, Renault UK, Carwow, Jardine Motors Group and Inchcape Retail will participate in one to one discussions with the female Business School students to encourage them to apply to their graduate programmes in the near future.


Professor Jim Saker and Julia Muir first met when she was a graduate trainee for the Perrys Motor Group in 1992, and participated in the graduate training programme designed by Professor Saker. They later collaborated on the Centre for Automotive Management BSc degree programme for Ford dealers in 1997 when Julia was the Dealer Training Manager for Ford of Britain. This collaboration led to the establishment of the Henry Ford College at Loughborough University. Many of the students who have passed through the first Ford BSc cohort are now in senior leadership positions in the retailing side of the industry. The CAM now runs a suite of executive BSc, MSc, PgCert and PgDip programmes for automotive retailers from all brands and since 2013 Julia has taught the Generating Customer Loyalty module, bringing her 25 years experience of the industry to the classroom. 

On founding the UK Automotive 30% club, and through discussions with Professor Saker it was clear to Julia that critical components of closing the gender gap included reaching out to attract female students, ensuring that there is a balanced talent pipeline, installing effective management and leadership programmes, and using evidenced based research would help drive change. Therefore it was important that the club have involvement from the world of academia. Loughborough has a strong relationship with the automotive industry through the CAM and through the automotive programmes within the engineering faculty obvious choice to be The UK Automotive 30% Club academic partner. Professor Jim Saker of the School of Business and Economics, Associate Dean (Enterprise) and the Ford Industrial Chair of Retail Management are of the founder members of the club.

Amy Pike a Loughborough CAM part time student on the BSc programme is currently collating the gender gap data of the members 30% club members to provide the first cross sector gender gap data set of the automotive industry. Amy will be sharing some of her findings on the day.

It is planned that the UK Automotive 30% Club will hold future events that will highlight other pathways into the automotive industry, such as apprenticeships.

For further information and images from Gaia Innovation please contact:
Victoria Murray 07714765367

For Loughborough University please contact:
Hannah Baldwin Public Relations Office 01509 222239

For Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP for Loughborough please contact: