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News   |   30 May 2022

Committed to a diverse workforce


Keyloop are committed to diversity and inclusion and believe that women have a vital role to play in the future of our industry.

The automotive industry is undoubtedly dynamic, innovative, future facing. However, the fact is that the industry is still very much a male dominated one, and there are still many issues to address when it comes to diversity and inclusion (D&I), especially gender balance.  Women make up half of the labour force, but within the automotive industry, this goes down to a quarter[1], with even less females being in Senior Leadership roles.

At Keyloop, we are committed to forming a diverse workforce and believe that women have a vital role to play in the future of our industry. Diversity brings together different perspectives, ideas, and ways of thinking which will be essential in advancing the automotive industry and the technology that powers it.

It is one of the reasons that Tom Kilroy, CEO at Keyloop, is a Patron member of the Automotive 30% Club, a voluntary group of MDs and CEOs from automotive manufacturing, retailing and supplier companies. The club was founded by Julia Muir, CEO of Gaia Innovation Ltd who has over 25 years' experience in automotive retailing, manufacturing and consulting, and she specialises in enabling women to achieve their potential and inspiring young women to join the automotive sector.

The mission of the 30% Club is to achieve better gender balance across the automotive industry, with the aim of filling at least 30% of key leadership positions in the member organisations with women by 2030.

Says Tom Kilroy, “We truly believe our long-term partnership with the 30% Club is of the upmost importance. At Keyloop we’re proud to say that our Senior Leadership Team has already met the target of being 30% female, but we are continuing to work with Julia and her team to understand how we can make sure Keyloop is a diverse, welcoming, and progressive company not only for women, but for everyone.”  

We realise that the automotive industry might not be seen as an obvious career choice for students and young professionals, some of the key people who can help with creating a more diverse and inclusive industry. They perhaps do not understand the range of opportunities available across the industry, or its focus on the future of transformation.

At Keyloop we want to shake up the narrative of what it is like to work within the sector and show that the automotive industry is an exciting and dynamic one, with incredible career and learning opportunities. At present, these are not well understood, and therefore we have implemented a number of initiatives to showcase what is available. They include:

The Keyloop Dealer Tech competition 

Having just completed its second year, this competition is targeted at leading universities in the UK and beyond and focuses on innovation and entrepreneurship in automotive retail amongst student teams. This year we invited teams of students from 15 universities, across the UK, Ireland and Canada, to come up with ideas to improve the car buying or ownership experience. Over 1000 students registered their interest in the competition this year and we ended up with some incredible entries.

The concepts from the finalists included a wide range of ideas, including tools to help electric car buyers find the right vehicle for their needs to apps that made vehicle servicing easier, more convenient and more price transparent.  It was brilliant to see the level of entrepreneurial spirit from the students, particularly at such an early stage in their careers.

At Keyloop we are committed to welcoming fresh and diverse talent to our industry, and this competition has helped us achieve that. We have unearthed some exceptional creativity, showcasing our industry to some of this country’s most promising students.

Sponsorship of the I4I network with the Automotive 30% Club

This year, we are the sole sponsor of the Automotive 30% Club’s Inspiration for Innovation (I4I) Network. The I4I Network launched in September 2020 and is a national network of volunteers from automotive, motorsport and technology companies that work with schools, universities and special interest groups to inform young people about the career opportunities in the automotive sector. It also aims to address the gender imbalance of the automotive world and change perceptions around the skills and background needed to work in the industry.

Despite the severe impact of the pandemic on students and learning last year, the I4I Network had a hugely successful year, enlisting 33 volunteers – including five Keyloop employees – and generating over 1,600 meaningful encounters between volunteers and school students.

Since last year, Keyloop volunteers at all levels across the business, from Data Analysts, Creative Designers, to the  Communications Director and the Chief People Officer, have taken part in a variety of initiatives and events with students, including virtual Career Conversations, Career Speed Networking sessions and Young Real Model Panel discussions. It all aims to improve students’ understanding of the job roles on offer in the industry and the skills required to undertake each role, as well as providing advice on how to develop these skills. By sharing stories from diverse voices across the company, we are able to demonstrate the importance of inclusion and gender balance within the business and the wider industry, in addition to showcasing the varied journeys that each employee took to get to their current position.

Driving Pride

This year Keyloop, has become a founding member of Driving Pride - a network of representatives from UK automotive businesses, including manufacturers, retailers, and suppliers. Driving Pride launches in Summer 2022 and provides a safe and supportive space for LGBTQ+ people within the automotive sector.  

Changes at Keyloop

We’re making changes internally at Keyloop too, to make sure we are doing everything we can to ensure Keyloop is an open, welcoming and inclusive environment. That’s why we are developing a DE&I strategy called Embracing Everyone. We are building diverse online communities within the business, we are inviting external speakers from minorities that underrepresented at Keyloop to make sure their voices are heard and their perspectives are understood, and we’re actively working with providers who can share their lived experiences and expertise in an educational and positive way. We encourage all Keyloop employees to bring their true selves to work. We value authenticity; we value our differences, they’re what make us interesting and make us better at what we do.

A diverse team

At Keyloop we want to inspire and work with others within the sector to showcase the importance of having a team that has members from all walks of life. By bringing in a diverse team, it is possible to include different thoughts and ideas that will help a company become more innovative and dynamic. We hope that by highlighting the schemes we are working on; we will help to create a more diverse and inclusive industry.

For us future-motive is not just about the technology we develop, but about the culture and values we embed across the global workforce - values which embody diversity and inclusion, and values we intend to champion internally and externally for years to come.