Women industry leaders led a panel at Automechanika Dubai 2021 to discuss gender issues and milestones in a traditionally male-dominated sector
Bridgestone, global sustainable mobility, and advanced solutions provider, joined this year’s edition of Automechanika Dubai, the largest international show for the automotive aftermarket and service industry for the Middle East and Africa region. The 18th edition of Automechanika Dubai, held recently at the Dubai World Trade Centre, convened international visitors, exhibitors, suppliers, customers, and business partners from the automotive industry to discuss the latest market trends and innovations, and potential partnerships.
As an industry pioneer, Bridgestone actively participated in the event to bring forward its milestones, particularly women’s roles in the automotive industry. Berna Akıncı, Head of Marketing at Bridgestone Middle East and Africa, was one of the panelists in their Women in Automotive session. The session titled ‘An Interview with Women in Automotive, Enabling Women as Industry leaders and Serving Female Consumers’ discussed various roles of women in the industry, whether through inventions, technical innovations, leadership, courage, or inspiring successes behind the wheel.
The discussion shed light on significant industry concerns and topics, including underrepresentation of women at the executive level, cultural and traditional bias due to underrepresentation, and the importance of mentorship and guidance. The session also brought forward the need to encourage women early, making the automotive industry appealing to women and the importance of flexibility in working hours.
It is imperative to create systematic support to advance women’s representation and inclusion across automotive operations. It was also pointed out that the way forward is to increase awareness and develop programs that provide support to women in childcare, career support, and other opportunities that can facilitate career growth.
Representing the women leaders of Bridgestone, Berna Akıncı said: “We are proud of how Bridgestone continuedly encourage and advance diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. Our company has been proactive in creating a conducive work environment for all individuals who have diverse values and backgrounds, irrespective of their gender. We want our employees to work comfortably and demonstrate their abilities while supporting career growth and development. It is essential to design and implement programs that empower our employees, such as career development training, help employees develop networks, and offer career-support training for managers with a special focus on gender diversity awareness. Embracing employee empowerment contributes to the enhancement of work culture and values at our company.”