A teenage mom from the township who rose to the executive level of Nissan Africa, the first black female dealer principal to manage two branches, the new Commercial Director of NAACAM and the Head of Brand for Volkswagen South Africa are just some of the inspiring profiles featured at this year’s Gumtree Women in Autos‘ event, hosted by the Festival of Motoring.
“There is no shortage of inspiring women in the automotive industry,” says Gumtree Director-GM Claire Cobbledick. “But they don’t step into the limelight often enough. We wanted to create a space for women of all backgrounds in the industry – from apprentices to CEOs, directors to sales staff, journalists and race drivers – to come together and share their experiences. We are delighted that this event has grown to the extent that it has.”
This year’s event will also award five women with awards of recognition for their contribution to the industry, as voted for by their peers. Nominees include Meredith Kelly and Tarryn Knight from VWSA, Charmagne Mavudzi of Volvo, Basetsana Msimanga of Toyota, Tashta Bhana of Audi and three nominees from Jaguar Landrover, including Baxolile Msomi, Lisa Mallett and Nakie Nepfumbada. The public can have their say by voting for candidates at http://www.gumtreewomeninautos.co.za.
In keeping with the event theme Driving Progress, Driving Power Gumtree will bring young scholars from the surrounding townships to the Festival of Motoring and Women in Autos event to learn more about the industry. “We want to inspire the next generation of women in autos, particularly young women of color,” says Cobbledick.
Show Director Dennis Klopper of Messe Frankfurt says that they are delighted to be host partners for the event. “The Festival of Motoring is designed to be accessible for everyone – whether you are attending as a family, a die-hard petrolhead or just have a casual interest in motors and motorsport. Giving the role that women play in the industry more prominence is part of that ethos.”
The event is free to all women in the automotive industry and will take place on the 23rd of August at Kyalami Racetrack. Interested parties can RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 August 2019.