The Women Behind The i7.
A revolutionary moment in the automotive industry.
With serious advances in electrification and luxury, the new BMW i7 has been hailed an unforgettable motoring experience. For the team of women who created it, it signifies a moment of revolution behind the scenes too.
It's no secret that the automotive industry lacks gender diversity and that the electrification of cars is still seen as futuristic by many. At BMW, which has been championing equal opportunity and electric vehicle development for decades, this is the norm. With the unveiling of the BMW i7 – the new all-electric version of the 7 Series and most revolutionary electric model in the company’s arsenal – the world is shown what is possible when expertise is diversified.
To create a fully electric model that didn’t compromise on comfort was a primary driving force for Carina Gärtner, Annette Baumeister and Daniela Kern, who were all integral to the design and development of the i7. Given that the 7 Series has long been considered the BMW’s flagship model – an emblem of the elegance and power it is known for – ensuring the i7 continued to deliver such high standards while also pushing the electric capabilities further than any car before, was more than a hopeful prospect. It was a necessity.
As typical as it should be, the fact that the lead creators of this car are women, is not. Several sources put the representation of women across automotives at roughly 20 per cent, meaning it remains one of the least gender-diverse industries on record. At the BMW Group, however, 47 per cent of its trainee programme are women, proving both how serious the brand is about creating an inclusive future as well as its instinctual understanding that the more diverse the team behind it, the more intuitive, adaptive and just plain good the car experience is for the driver.
“BMW doesn’t focus on gender, but rather on the profiles of drivers,” explains Baumeister. “There’s no differentiation. The two target audiences are simply ‘expressive performers’ and ‘elegant creatives.’”
This is reiterated by Kern, who joined BMW after witnessing how much her father loved working for the company. “The key to a good product for every customer is to have teams that include different ages, different cultures and different genders. The cooperation and conversations are simply better.”
This way of thinking – to be inclusive to all, both behind the scenes and on the road – spells a bright forecast for the brand, proving that it’s not just the innovative electrification of BMW that will secure its place as a leader of the automotive future, but the driving force behind it too.
For more information, explore the i7.
Credit: British Vogue, featuring- Carina Gärtner, Annette Baumeister and Daniela Kern at BMW.