Could improved diversity and inclusion be the key for our industry to achieve its full potential?

David Fraser, Group CEO, Capricorn Society Ltd

The idea of diversity and inclusion has, unhelpfully, become part of a culture war, often attacked as “woke” or do-gooding.
Even if it is those things, viewing it in that negative context ignores, to our detriment, the opportunity that improving diversity and inclusion creates to address our skills and labour shortages.
It is all about broadening our talent pool. It is about saying to people from all kinds of backgrounds – gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, language, education, disability – that, “you are welcome in our industry; there are good opportunities in the aftermarket for you to build a career, grow a business and enjoy success.”
In State of the Nation 2022, 39 percent of Capricorn Members said they were struggling to find good staff. Yet only six percent of Members employ one or two qualified female mechanics or fitters.
There is a huge opportunity to welcome more women into technical roles, grow our talent pool and create a more sustainable future for the auto industry.
As it happens, in the 2022 Capricorn Rising Stars award we had three female finalists and a female winner – Marama Thompson of Auto Super Shoppe in Hamilton, New Zealand – which suggests the task of improving diversity and inclusion is not only already underway, but it is working.
Speaking of Rising Stars, nominations are now open for the 2023 Capricorn Rising Stars Apprentice of the Year at cap.coop/stars.
The competition is all about recognising effort, rewarding hard work, and helping workshops retain their future leaders. There are great prizes on offer for both the apprentice and their workshop, so please consider nominating your superstar apprentice.
There has never been any doubt in my mind that we are stronger together. That strength will only grow as we create a more diverse and inclusive workforce for our industry.

Yours in cooperation,
David Fraser
Group CEO – Capricorn Society Ltd

For more on Capricorn Society membership, visit www.capricorn.coop