The Society of the Irish Motor Industry this week hosted its 3rd annual Women@SIMI event in conjunction with its sponsor Bank of Ireland Finance in the Conrad Hotel Dublin 2.

Women@SIMI provides a platform for professional females from a variety of counties, representing different sectors such as the Heavy Goods Vehicles, Vehicle Body Repairers, Franchise Retailers, Distributors etc to meet, network and share their experiences in what is otherwise viewed as a traditional male dominated environment.

The event attended by over 160 professional women is now a significant date in the Industry calendar and continues to grow year on year. Women@SIMI recognises the dynamic role played by women who are leading the way for the next generation of women in helping to driving our Industry forward both in terms of business strategy and career progression.

Alan Greene President of SIMI addressing attendees stated that “We need to capitalise on the different skills and mind-sets that both men and women bring to a business. Collectively as an Industry we need to change the perception of the Industry, as employers are missing out on unknown opportunities to hire women into the sector.”

“We require more initiatives to promote the variety of careers available within the Industry and a well-marked career path.”

Gillian Fanning Marketing, Director of Serfac Limited, Member of the SIMI Management Board and Chairperson of the SIMI Wholesalers delivered this year’s key note address “As an Industry we need to work together to change the cultural perceptions and educate women that when you think of a job in the motor industry, you don’t just think of a male dominated environment but one that consists of many different sectors and diverse roles and great career opportunities.”

Women@SIMI again this year delivered a very impressive panel of speakers, with Mary Kennedy Master of Ceremonies interviewing Moyagh Murdock CEO of the Road Safety Authority and Regina Doherty Government Chief Whip, and Minister of State in the Department of An Taoiseach, both of whom provided great insight into their own career progression and day to day roles in state organizations.

Penny Ferguson, Founder of The Living Leader, shared her expertise on Personal Leadership, and encouraged more women to put themselves forward for leadership roles.

Pat Creed CEO of Bank of Ireland Finance, Sponsors of Women@SIMI, commented “We are delighted to be associated with this event as Sponsor for the third year in a row. It is an excellent event and growing in popularity every year. Bank of Ireland Finance continues to be a great supporter of the Motor Industry and it is particularly encouraging to see more and more senior female business executives in this sector.”