Developing gender and race DEI in the automotive industry has been a particular challenge in recent years, for those in all areas of the sector. Thanks to our dedicated team at Charlton Morris who are passionate about showcasing and supporting the advancements in this area, I’ve been privy to some incredible success stories in automotive DEI, especially in the EV Charging space.
I feel that we can all learn a lot from industry leaders advocating for and implementing change. I want to take this opportunity to shout about the collaborative DEI work currently happening with the EV Charging space in Detroit.
Whilst the automotive industry continues to grow and thrive, the sector is markedly poor on comprehensive gender and race representation, and overall DEI. Women make up approximately half of the total labour force, yet compromise no more than a quarter of roles in the auto manufacturing workforce. When it comes to progress in this space, just over a third of female employees in the sector believe the industry’s attitude to gender diversity has gotten worse, compared to only 13% of their male counterparts reporting seeing a worrying attitude to women entering the industry.
When it comes to race, Black workers make up almost 20% of workers in the automotive manufacturing industry, but reporting on racial diversity in the top levels of the industry remains inconsistent and inconclusive. How can we begin to implement and measure change if the levels of successful inclusivity are not being recorded?
As the industry moves towards a more sustainable future with increasing developments around electric vehicles, there’s further evidence that black communities have not been considered in the industry’s future. A study at Humboldt State University in Northern California reported “stark disparities” in public electric vehicle charger availability across ethnic and socioeconomic groups, with greater availability consistently available in wealthier and whiter communities.
Worryingly, it appears that Black and Latino communities are being consistently sidelined in the electric vehicle revolution. If this is the case for the industry at this early stage in advancement, what can we expect to see for robust DEI in the automotive industry moving forward?
Whilst we see definite pitfalls in the development of the automotive industry and DEI within EV Charging spaces, there are beacons of hope.
Dunamis Charge, the first black woman-owned manufacturer of EV chargers in the United States, has seen incredible growth with leader, Natalie King, at the wheel. Specialising in reliable, intelligent and user-friendly energy management services and electric vehicle chargers, the company is committed to creating a future where electric vehicles are an accessible reality for all communities.
With this focus, Dunamis Charge's recent partnership with ChargerHelp! has shown that collaboration is the answer to a more diverse and inclusive future for all in the automotive industry. This step has been aided by the revolutionary BEVI collective, the first trade association to bring together black-owned and operated companies across the manufacturing, installation, maintenance, repair, diagnostic and distribution spaces for Electric Vehicles. BEVI combines the talents of black green-energy champions, including Natalie King, Kameale C Terry & Evette Ellis of ChargerHelp!, Carla Walker-Miller of Walker-Miller Energy Services, Kwabena ‘Q’ Johnson of PlugZen, and William McCoy of Vehya.
Undoubtedly, the advancement in diversity within the automotive industry and, in particular, the EV and green energy space, shows no signs of slowing down.
It’s clear that tangible change is on the horizon, and there is a lot to be won for these first-of-their-kind companies that are focusing on black-owned, women-led expertise. As a loud advocate for increased DEI across all spaces, myself and the team at Charlton Morris have been so excited to see these developments, and I can’t wait to see how Dunamis Charge and the BEVI Trade collective trajectory progresses.
It’s heartening to see that their successes have been so well received. At Charlton Morris, we certainly believe that a robust and holistic recruitment, retention, and talent development strategy is driven by a diverse and inclusive working environment. Ultimately leading to more productive business and a more ethical and sustainable working culture, every time. Here’s to a diverse and inclusive future.
As talent solutions experts, we are focussed on ensuring diverse and inclusive workplaces through our exclusive partner network and experienced consultants.
Download the latest CM Guide below to get top tips from key thought leaders in the DEI & talent space, including:
✅ DEI Strategy
✅ Talent Attraction & Employer Branding
✅ Inclusive Hiring Processes
✅ Company Culture & Employee Retention
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