Sytner Group shines a light on women in the automotive industry for International Women’s Day 2022

Sytner Group is committed to ensuring that every colleague has the chance to progress and thrive in their career.

The motor industry is typically overrepresented by men, as a result, Sytner Group is launching network groups to support ongoing work to improve diversity in the automotive industry.

Deliotte, global provider of audit and assurance, conducted research of 100 people in the automotive industry across the UK. The research showed that 90% of women feel under-represented in leadership positions and the most common factor that contributes towards this inequality, is industry bias towards men for leadership positions.

It also revealed that women are more likely to leave the motor industry due to lack of promotion opportunities and a poor work-life balance. However, 60% of people have seen positive change over the last five years in terms of the attitude towards women colleagues.

Sytner Group want to shine a light on this and assure colleagues and communities that it is taking steps to challenge outdated views and ensure that all colleagues are supported by the new D&I policy and guidance created by Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Jodie Williams.

Emma Spedding

Emma Spedding, Head of Business at Bradford Audi at Sytner Group, said: “I have always enjoyed working for Sytner, I feel very lucky and privileged to work for a Group that are always trying to better themselves for colleagues and customers. I work with a great team and the day’s go so quick, we all work hard but we have fun along the way.

“Although statistically it is more of a male dominated workplace it never feels that way. Sytner especially focuses on working as ‘One Team’ and I feel like we are committed to creating a more inclusive environment. Although we recognise women are underrepresented across some roles we as a Group are taking steps to improve this. As we continue to focus on Diversity and Inclusivity I know Sytner will become more innovative and that will enable us to attract from the widest talent pools to give us the best Team in the industry.”

“Women are brilliant in this industry and if someone has the right mind-set, integrity and drive then go for it! Nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

Nitisha Joshi, Divisional Marketing Manager and PA to Divisional Managing Director, for Specialist Division at Sytner Group, said: “I am fortune enough to oversee the marketing activities for 9 amazing brands across our division, so I get to spend my time visiting sites and supporting my team of fantastic Marketing Managers across the country. On a typical day I could be in between manufacturer meetings, planning meetings with my Marketing Teams or supporting just a few of the really cool events we plan!

“I love working for the Group- so much so it’s the only place I’ve ever worked! I started as a Work Experience student at 15 and then never left! Very quickly after starting, I knew I wanted a career in the motor industry and I have been fortunate enough to have been given some fantastic opportunities along the way. We work in such dynamic and exciting environments, I can’t possibly imagine working anywhere else.

“Interestingly I have never considered myself to be a woman working in a male dominated industry. Whilst statistically there are a greater proportion of men, everyone is treated as an individual regardless of gender and everyone is given the same opportunities.

Nitisha Joshi

“I think the One Team culture really sets Sytner Group apart from other companies. We all have the same goal, regardless of your job role or department, and it’s amazing to see dealership teams pull together to ensure we achieve the end goal.”

Jayne Cuthbertson, Mechanic at Sytner Group’s Mercedes-Benz of Sunderland, said: “When I started my apprenticeship in the industry, I was young and I didn’t know what to expect going into a “mans” environment, but I was up for it and went in with all my all.

“Sytner Group Mercedes-Benz is the best company I have worked for in my career. I have felt welcomed into the workshop just as one of the lads, I get along with everyone and I’m included with all of the jokes and conversations in the workshop, so the people I work with make it a great company to work for.

“Being a female in a male environment was definitely scary at the start but I would recommend any woman interested in the motor trade to come and do it, I can grantee you will not regret it. I didn’t.”

Jayne Cuthbertson

Penny Wallace, Recruit Specialist at Sytner Group joined the business in January 2021, she said: “We have a fantastic team around us, I didn’t believe the ‘one team’ ethos until I actually joined Sytner and experienced this first hand. You really do get unrivalled support from all of your colleagues, everything is a team effort and you are trusted and valued for your unique contribution.

“I don’t feel like I am working in a male-dominated industry. We have done and continue to do a lot of work to change the perception of our industry from a young age. This is something that is so important to the future of our workforce – to ensure that our future female talent are aware of the options available to us.

“If you are a woman looking to get into the industry then my advice is apply now! Don’t let old-fashioned perceptions and stereotypes stop you from starting and flourishing in the career that you want. If you want to have a confidential chat around starting a career with Sytner Group then please get in touch.”

Penny Wallace


Rosie Hazle, BMW and MINI vehicle technician joined the business almost five years ago, she said: “Most days are different but that is part of what I love about my job. I never know what job I will be facing, it could be a simple service, an engine replacement, diagnosis or a rattle that takes hours to find.

“My goal is to be the first female BMW master tech. I love learning about new technologies and I’m always pushing to be put on more training courses which is a fight but worth it.

“I think the overall response to female technicians is positive but the reality is it takes some hard work and time to be respected. To any women who are thinking about getting involved in the automotive industry, I would say just go for it, if you know that this is what you want to do, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t! Believe in yourself, stereotypes are made to be broken.”

Rosie Hazle

Sytner Group has officially launched a network group focussing on creating better equality for women in the automotive industry and the business itself. The group has 30 members who will collectively work towards continuing the great work the business has done to date.

They will focus on various areas including engagement with communities to showcase the business and the opportunities available, sharing their own journeys and experiences and spreading knowledge and awareness across the business. The group will also help to organise future events and celebrations such as activity for International Women’s Day going forward.

The business has created a number of network groups to help share key messages across the business and spread internal awareness about the long term D&I strategy. Each network group has a chair who sits on the business’ D&I forum. The chair will be responsible for updating the forum on network group activities and will share any insights from the business to the forum members.

In this way, network groups will enable the business to hear genuine feedback from across the Group and understand colleagues’ needs and wants. The chair of the gender network group is Emma Spedding, Head of Business at Bradford Audi.

Emma is both passionate about D&I and about creating inclusive environments where colleagues can thrive. Emma has had various roles at Sytner Group and is now Head of Business.

Emma said: “I am really proud to be a part of a business, in Bradford, one of the most diverse cities in the country. It is important that we reflect the communities in which we operate and that our customers and communities have representation at all levels in the business.”

Jodie Williams, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, said: “It's important to acknowledge the current under-representations within the automotive industry and focus our efforts on being bold and purposeful in giving colleagues equitable access to opportunities and continuing to support our colleagues to have great experiences every day.”

For more information about Sytner Group please visit the website.