As we celebrate Women’s Month, it is important to remember that while there has been positive gains in the motor industry in recent years, there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of more female professionals taking leadership roles across the industry. Mentoring and coaching are key to achieve the required gender parity in the workplace in a consistent manner, and organisations need to be committed to the cause.

The motor industry is a very dynamic place for women to work and grow, with endless opportunities and diverse portfolios. It is always evolving, and as such can provide unique experiences over the years. Modern day customers transact digitally on almost everything, so we must be ready for the future opportunities, today.

However, women are still questioned about their knowledge of the industry in the early years of their careers. I feel privileged to work for an organisation that allows growth for women in different roles, and more than half of the leadership team at Jaguar Land Rover South Africa are women. It is truly a space where I can showcase my strengths, continuously learn, work with various teams and people, collaborate and achieve results together. 

Consistent programs over time in collaboration with higher learning institutions will allow pupils to innovate and help create the future motor industry. 

My advice for young female executives in the industry is to work hard towards your goals, be prepared to learn and ask questions, rotate in different areas of respective industries and organisations to gain exposure, and build good relations in the industry. 

But don’t forget to still enjoy fun hobbies, engage in self-care, work smart, and use the support and resources around you because no one succeeds alone.

Take inspiration from those around you. I get a lot of inspiration from my family, friends and colleagues, through their diverse walks of life. Remember, anything is possible, as long as you are willing to work for it.

Palesa Mabuza, Regional Performance Manager, Jaguar Land Rover South Africa