Supporting change and providing equal opportunities in the workplace, Nissan, the Official Automotive Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai, participated in an exclusive session last week, titled Driving Change: Women in the Automotive Industry. Highlighting Nissan's ambition to remove the barriers to women's advancement in the workplace, the session served as an inspiration talk for current and future generations of women and included the participation of Friederike Kienitz, Senior Vice President for Sustainability, Corporate Affairs, Legal, External Affairs and Communications in Africa, Middle East, India, Europe, Oceania (AMIEO) region at Nissan Motor Corporation, and Hashim Khalid, Deputy General Manager - Legal Affairs at Nissan Middle East.
Forming part of Expo's Visions & Journeys series - an intimate set of keynote speeches and talks that spotlight female leaders - the session was hosted by Hind Alowais, Vice President of the International Participants Department at Expo 2020 Dubai and was held at the Women's Pavilion on the grounds of the world fair. Reflecting on the past, the session underlined the shift in male-dominated industries with a greater number of women being welcomed into leadership roles and the benefits this change has brought with it.
Friederike Kienitz, Senior Vice President for Sustainability, Corporate Affairs, Legal, External Affairs and Communications, AMIEO at Nissan Motor Corporation, said: “Women have an important role to play in the automotive industry and their fresh perspectives are important drivers for innovation which benefit our most important stakeholders: our customers. At Nissan, we believe diversity gives us strength, drives creative solutions, and provides a better experience for our customers, and by empowering women, Nissan is proud to serve as a role model for future generations of women to enter the automotive industry and make a strong impact for years to come.”
Through a series of anecdotes that women in the automotive industry could relate to, Friederike spotlighted the challenges she faced when starting out in the industry and how Nissan's culture of embracing equal opportunity and creating an environment that fosters talent and ambition were strong motivators to join the brand nearly fifteen years ago. As a key player in the automotive industry, Nissan has long led the way for gender diversity in the workplace, hiring the first-ever female car designer in Japan in 1967 - a whole 19 years prior to the Equal Employment Opportunity Act for Men and Women being introduced in the country.
Bringing out the brand's diversity and inclusion initiatives, Hashim Khalid, Deputy General Manager - Legal Affairs at Nissan Middle East said: “The multicultural workforce at Nissan Middle East is a true reflection of the rich diversity of the region. The experiences, cultures, and backgrounds of our workforce gives us a strong advantage and we are proud to be driving equal career opportunities for all, including a growing number of female colleagues who continue to make a strong impact across all functions in our organization, including sales, aftersales, and marketing to name a few.”
Driving Change: Women in the Automotive Industry marks the third thought leadership opportunity to be hosted by Expo 2020 Dubai and include Nissan as a key participant. Previous sessions included Age of Disruption - Cities on the Move: Moving Around to Move Up, which featured Guillaume Cartier, Chairperson, AMIEO at Nissan Motor Corporation, and How Tech Innovation is Shaping Our New Normal which featured Marco Fioravanti, Vice President for Product Planning, AMIEO at Nissan Motor Corporation.