3M hosted the first Auto Body Professional Women’s Automotive meeting of 2017 in Bracknell, Berkshire, on 30 March.
Women’s Automotive was formed as a sub-group of membership organisation Auto Body Professional to bring like-minded women from across the industry together and promote the development of women in this traditionally male-dominated industry.
3M Centre was the ideal venue for the latest meeting of the group as the company was recently honoured with a Catalyst Award for its global initiative to recruit, develop and advance women across the company.
The event included a talk by Volvo’s Body and Paint Programme development manager, Steve Plunkett, who spoke about Volvo’s safety mission and gave a sneak preview of the latest models from the Swedish car brand.
3M Technical manager, Sarah Chapman, also spoke to the group, giving an overview of 3M’s approach to diversity and women’s leadership and encouraging attendees to challenge the status quo.
In addition, business development director for Automotive Creative Solutions at Haymarket Publishing, Georgia Coles, spoke about the need to attract more female talent to work in the Automotive industry.
She also explained how consumer title AutoCar is helping to champion the role of women in the industry by launching initiatives such as the Top 100 Women in Automotive award scheme.
Jo Partridge, Marketing manager for 3M’s Automotive Aftermarket Division, is a member of the group. She said: “These events showcase women in a diverse range of roles – from bodyshop managers, assessors, insurers and distributors through to manufacturers – all eager to highlight Automotive as an exciting industry for both men and women to work in.
“Many of the attendees were familiar with 3M’s wide range of products for the automotive industry, such as 3M™ PPS™ Paint Preparation System, abrasives and polishes, and the event was an opportunity to expand on this and tell them more about the other markets we serve and how we go about creating products that meet customer needs.”
The meeting ended with a tour of 3M’s Customer Innovation Centre where delegates had a chance to see some of the company’s innovations in action, ranging from digital stethoscopes for earth-bound doctors to listen to the heartbeats of astronauts to concrete material so light that it floats.
3M Marketing assistant, Dominique Dada, said: “The event was attended by around 30 women working in the industry and was a great way to shine a light on women in Automotive.”
Kelly Dalwood, Auto Body Professional Club news editor, added: “This was our first event of 2017 and it couldn’t have got the year off to a better start. It was a great day for everyone involved and thank you to 3M for hosting the event at such a fantastic venue.
“It was great to meet some truly inspirational women and hopefully we will see some familiar faces at the next event.”