Women with Drive was originally an internal initiative at Cox Automotive, owner of global brands including Manheim, but it is now being opened to the entire automotive industry.

Cox Automotive is aiming to position itself as an employer of choice for women in the automotive sector, and encourage more women to look at career opportunities in the motor industry.

Alison Fisher, HR director for Cox Automotive in the UK, said: “We created the network 12 months ago on International Women’s Day and we have grown significantly.

“Women with Drive is currently focused on quality events aimed at inspiring our female talent and the format of each event involves guest speakers who share their inspirational stories.

“The feedback has been fantastic and I know we have retained more women in our business as a result of that network and I know we are making a difference to the success of Cox Automotive.

“I am now looking for the industry’s support to make Women with Drive the automotive industry network to promote gender diversity across the whole industry.”

Fisher said she wanted to promote the industry as a “destination point” for female talent and champion equality both inside and outside the workplace.

She added: “I need the industry’s help to take the lead to be more visible so we can act with real positive intent. The motor industry is undoubtedly a male-dominated sector, so we want to demonstrate the career opportunities that the industry presents for women.

“It is also about promoting a diverse and positive workforce that has the power to inspire. I want to create a legacy for the future of this industry. I want to inspire people to dream big and want to have a successful career within the automotive sector and fulfil their potential.”

Fisher added that Women with Drive was open to both female and male members and urged people to sign-up through its website.

As part of the development programme, Fisher revealed that a group of Women with Drive members are planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, in February 2018.

For details of the climb and to support Women with Drive, visit www.womenwithdrive.co.uk.