Women In The Driving Seat


Women In The Driving Seat

Do you know what New Zealand, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Iceland and Denmark have in common?

All six of these countries have women as their heads of state. During these troubled times we've seen proactive decision-making, clear communication as well as their empathetic and transparent approach shine through. 

So we thought we'll take some time today to shine the light on women who are also doing remarkable work in our industry, the automotive industry.  We list down a few of many local as well as international women pioneers who are in the driving seat.

Pic credit: RupesMalaysia/AutocolortechMalaysia

Joyce Lua (Hands of an angel)

She might not be a name you hear much about in the auto industry, but her choice and quality of work deserves recognition. Ever been to a car detailer and seen a woman detailing a car? Better yet, ever seen a woman being entrusted with detailing a Rolls Royce? Well, you've never met Joyce before then. Rolls Royce Malaysia trusts her with their cars as do many others with expensive vehicles. Joyce started her career in car detailing in 2008, and handling a detailing machine is now secondary to her. Her drive to prove men and people in the auto industry wrong was the catalyst as many doubted her in the beginning. She's inspiring because she has the bravery to tackle a predominately male workplace and excel in it.

Datuk Aishah Ahmad (Taking the fight to the government)

MAA is one of the key figures in the trade and manufacturing aspects of the automotive industry. They have been there every step of the way, and has a say in automotive policies, rules and legislation. Since 1989, the president of this influential organisation has been Datuk Aishah Ahmad. She has seen the automotive industry go through ups and downs and has been its guiding hand through it all. Thanks to Datuk Aishah Ahmad and her team who fight for a lot of things, we now have better diesel fuel, we also applaud her for fighting with the government to lower excise duties.

Pic credit: My Business Stories

Bertha Benz (The first women to drive long distance)

If the hint was not in the name, Bertha Benz was Karl Benz's wife and business partner. She was also known as the first person in history to drive an automobile over a long distance. She actually stole the Model 3 Benz from her husband, grabbed her two sons and went on a 88km trip to see her mother. Bear in mind, this was the time when horse carriages were the norm, so for her to have done what she did was simply quite ballsy!

Pic credit: MSN.com

Jessi Combs (Fastest female on earth)

Even thinking of travelling at 825km/h would be scary for most people. That's just a tad slower than commercial aeroplanes, and Jessi did it on a rocket looking thing on the ground. Unfortunately, Jessi died on August 27, 2019, attempting to break the land speed record, but her two practice runs before the official timing saw her go as fast as 531.889 mph. 

Pic credit: Forbes

Marry Barra (First CEO of a major global automaker)

Female CEOs in any large companies are quite a rare sight, but to be a CEO of a big automaker like GM is even rarefied space. As a girl who grew up adoring Pontiac's Firebird, it is no surprise she ended up where she is now. Marry grew up in a Motor City Family. As soon as she could, she started working as a co-op student (General Motor's University) in the Pontiac Motor Division. She graduated in electrical engineering and has been in GM since then. She's had many roles including plant manager and head of corporate comms. In 2014 she was made CEO and since then GM has been on the up and up. 

Those are but some of the women in the industry. With anything we believe that diversity only brings progress. Without the creativity and guidance of Farhanah Shukri, our videographer, we'd be lost in producing our videos, so thank you Hanah! We appreciate you. 

Adam Aubrey

Adam Aubrey

Content Producer

Wants to live the simple life, especially when it comes to cars and bikes. That's what tech is for he reckons, to make motoring simpler

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