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Emma Thomas, Director of Vehicle Quality Solutions says it’s time for women to set up their own women’s fleet networking group

Emma Thomas, Director of Vehicle Quality Solutions says it’s time for women to set up their own women’s fleet networking group
Emma Thomas Director of VQS gives her opinion on women in the fleet industry and says it's time for women to set up a fleet networking group.

Just a few weeks after we celebrated Autocar’s list of the top 100 women in the motor industry we have all attended yet another fleet industry event when 90% of the attendees were men.

Industry events are brilliant opportunities to network with industry colleagues, but time and time again it’s the black tied boys that get to make the most of these automotive industry evenings.

That’s not to say our fleet industry is predominantly employing men as our business is living proof that equality has improved dramatically.

Our logistics manager is a woman who previously trained as an accountant, our admin team who manage day to day aspects of Vehicle Quality Solutions are all women and we have employed women inspectors in the past.

As someone that has been brought up in the motor industry and despite my father’s best efforts, 20 years after helping him tinker with cars I am a director and shareholder of Vehicle Quality Solutions. There are an increasing number of women like myself who have made a success in the fleet industry, but I feel it’s time that we have the same networking opportunities as the men.

How about the fleet industry sets up its own women’s networking group?

Not as a fleet industry branch of the Women’s Institute baking cakes and knitting for charity, but a professional bunch of people meeting to discuss challenges, successes and sharing best practice in our industry.

Not only will this help women who are currently in the industry to develop their own careers but also help the industry to attract more women and young people into our sector.

That has to be good news for the automotive sector which has struggled over the past few years to attract the best talent, instead being attracted to the IT, telecommunications and tech companies.

I’d like to hear from other like-minded women in fleet who would like my idea - it should also help ensure that the next fleet industry dinner we attend we will be better represented.