American Marketer

Events / Causes

Aston Martin campaigns for female engineers

June 29, 2015

Aston Martin and RAF's student engineering program Aston Martin and RAF's student engineering program


British automaker Aston Martin is looking to close the gender gap in engineering by teaming up the Royal Air Force to introduce female students to various career routes.

Automakers employ large amounts of people and oftentimes have a positive impact on local communities, a dynamic that burnishes their reputations with a humane aspect. This mild form of activism will help Aston Martin stand out in a field of admired employers.

"Aston Martin supports activities such as this week’s STEM event, held in co-operation with the RAF, not only as a careers prospecting activity – the brand is naturally constantly searching for the best and brightest engineers of tomorrow – but also as a way to help drive aspiration among young women who think they may have a professional future in this area," said Grace Barnie, corporate press officer at Aston Martin, Warwickshire, Britain.

"We want to show, through ‘case studies’ such as the female engineers who took part in the event, that succeeding at the very highest level and securing a rewarding career with one of the best known luxury sports car makers in the world, is a career path that’s open to all those who have the talent, dedication and commitment to succeed," she said.

"Regardless of gender."

Changing the equation

Automakers are always touting their apprenticeship, job training and hiring programs. In economies still recovering from financial hardship, all brands are well aware that talking about jobs and stable employment is a way to win the hearts of consumers.

Training programs for students are particularly appreciated because youth in most countries have faced the most acute dearth of jobs since the global recession.

Consequently, brands regularly keep fans informed of their efforts.

For example, German automaker Audi is giving job hunters a leg-up with a new Web site that demystifies the apprenticeship journey.

Audi apprenticeship program

Audi apprenticeship Web site

The Web site is intended to help Audi identify and groom the best young talent in Britain for positions across the company. As job markets across Europe recover, brands will have to be more competitive in their recruitment of talent (see story).

Also, following British automaker Bentley’s announcement that it would be accepting the most apprentices in 25 years in 2015, the brand received the largest number of applications in its history.

For the 63 open positions, Bentley was sent 1,285 applications, from which it is now conducting interviews and assessments to decide who will be placed in the three-year program beginning in September. While not every candidate will be chosen, the application process gives career hopefuls an early experience and understanding of Bentley as an employer (see story).

Traditionally, auto-related jobs, including engineering, have skewed male, mostly because of cultural pressures and constraints.

Aston Martin, along with a host of other brands across industries, is seeking to fix this flawed pattern.

Aston Martin teams with RAF to inspire female students

Aston Martin teams with RAF to inspire female students

The automaker teamed up with the Royal Air Force to celebrate National Women in Engineering Day June 23.

The day consisted of educational speeches, meet-and-greets with top female engineers from both RAF and Aston Martin and a quasi-job fair in which girls could inquire about career opportunities. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, activities were also available.

The event catered to students aged 9 to 13 in an attempt to steer girls on the path of science early on. Aston Martin and RAF will continue to work together to promote gender equality in the sciences.

Gaining favor
Like most brands intent on expansion, a public relations campaign generally smoothes the path.

Aston Martin is currently expanding its range of marketplaces around the world.

The British government will help this venture financial support that will aid the automaker in exporting to countries such as China. The global expansion will help Aston Martin compete against other luxury automakers and with government assistance, it may create better relations for the United Kingdom in some of the nations (see story).

Final Take
Joe McCarthy, staff reporter on Luxury Daily, New York