August is the month in which women around the world are being celebrated for the contribution they make socially, economically, culturally and politically.
At Peugeot Citroën South Africa, there is even more reason to celebrate this women’s month with the majority of employees in senior positions being women, in fact more than 50% of the overall staff compliment are women.
Clara Metivier-Beukes has recently returned from a three year stint in France. She is now based in South Africa as the PSA Groupe representative taking up the enormous challenge of managing Eastern Africa including Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Angola and South Africa.
Dineo Mofokeng holds the position of Digital Marketing and Advertising Manager.
Irina Lukina spearheads Sales and Operations and Nonna Ronge, in HR, has spent several years in the automotive industry as an advocate for making the industry more female-friendly.
“We pride ourselves in flying the “gender” flag high says MD Francisco Gaie. We have a number of talented and inspirational women in management positions at PCSA and believe that “woman power” is paving the way forward.
“Increasingly, women are making car-buying decisions so it makes sense to develop the skills that women bring to the industry and to attach the female perspective to our brand strategy.” he said.
“Whether you are male or female it is about your ability to lead, inspire, motivate, engage and drive the performance of your team. We are thankful for the leadership of the women in our various departments. Women tend to lead from a more interactive, co-operative style of management which often results in strengthening the ‘sense-of-team’.” Francisco said.
Maxime Picat, Member of the Managing Board at Groupe PSA says: “The next generation of leaders needs to be able to work within a shifting landscape, where breadth of experience and cultural flexibility are increasingly necessary.
“In terms of leadership and talent, you need to have a high level of adaptability, to be open-minded, and have the ability to think and act quickly. Diversity and agility are key if you want to stay in the race.”
One of the new generation of women making her mark in the automotive industry is Citroën’s Chief Executive Officer Linda Jackson who was inducted into the Auto Express Hall of Fame in recognition of her outstanding leadership skills.
Her expertise has helped reinforce Citroën as a modern and innovative brand, with its ‘Be Different, Feel Good’ promise.
Linda agrees that the auto industry needs to attract more young talent, especially women. “There is a fundamental lack of female talent in the industry,” she says. “We need to break down the macho image of the automotive sector.”
For the last 6 years, Auto Express Magazine (UK) has published the Brit List – a list of the top 50 British executives working on the global automotive stage.
Linda Jackson took first place in the 2017 rankings, being named ‘Most influential Brit in the Car industry’. She became the first woman to be awarded this top spot.
Being in the motoring industry, is challenging, however it can be extremely rewarding and exciting especially at this time when society is changing.
Women have an inherent feel for cars and today women are developing as much passion for cars as men do.
More often than not, once you get into the motor industry you don’t leave, as is proven by the long history most of the women at Peugeot Citroën South Africa have - so go for it girls!