Toyota (GB) is widely recognised for its ongoing commitment to equality and is proud to celebrate the inspirational activities and accomplishments of women within the many sectors of our corporate family. We value initiatives such as Women’s History Month, which provides a global call to action for industries to create inclusive work environments that generate a sense of belonging, value and empowerment among women of all ages.

Such equality is much more than an annual, month-long endeavour for Toyota; it is a mind set that permeates our entire business structure. And we thought the best way to illustrate this was to showcase the inspiring voices of individuals from various sectors of our family. Through candid commentaries and engaging videos we wanted to shed light on their journeys and perspectives, and reveal how they have felt supported over the years as women within the automotive industry.

Women’s History Month: inspirational Toyota family voices

Women's History Month

Carrie Hammond, customer experience and innovation specialist, Toyota (GB)

“In my 29 years of working at Toyota (GB) I have witnessed many changes in the industry. It has transitioned from a male-dominated environment to one that values and welcomes diversity, including the contributions of women. This evolution is what has encouraged me to stay in the business, to grow and develop.

“For example, I was the first person to job-share, which enabled me to return to work while balancing my career and ever-growing family. Being a mentor within the Automotive 30% Club and participating in Toyota’s internal programmes have had positive impacts on both my personal and professional development. Specialist training and coaching has also expanded my skills and prepared me for promotion and team management.

“The role I have today continues to stretch me. It puts me out of my comfort zone and challenges me in ways that contribute positively to my development and growth — all supported by a brilliant manager who understands and challenges me every single day. I am fortunate to be in a position where I enjoy my job, have a great work-life balance, and still have the capacity and empowerment to work towards my career aspirations.”

Women's History MonthWomen's History Month

Alice Russell, plastics shop engineer, Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK)

“When I started at Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) in 2020, I was one of the first women engineers in the plastics department. It felt quite daunting at first but feeling TMUK’s support and having another female colleague join at the same time quickly helped me overcome any nervousness.

“I fully relate to the principles of empowerment, support and allyship, and feel that during my time at TMUK I have been exposed to lots of challenging but rewarding activities. I have worked alongside people from different teams and been able to deliver presentations to management and visitors.

“I feel that opportunities are fairly distributed within my team and we’re there to support one another. There is a large graduate network that includes many female engineers, and I’ve had the opportunity to be mentored by a female senior manager, which I found particularly helpful during my first couple of years. Being able to talk openly about being women in the manufacturing industry boosted my confidence and helped me evolve into the engineer I am today.”

Women’s History Month: inspirational Toyota family voices

Women's History MonthWomen's History Month

Hannah Lines, human resources manager, Kinto

“I joined Kinto – Toyota’s mobility services brand – in March 2020, just before lockdown, and felt supported from the very start. The following year I was given the exciting opportunity of joining an internal programme for developing future talent within the organisation. I was one of seven women to be selected. This programme allowed us to gain new skills and experiences, learn from other areas of the organisation and meet many new people. While it was extremely challenging at times, all seven of us developed personally and professionally.

“Towards the end of 2021, however, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. News of this lifelong, currently uncurable condition had a huge impact on me mentally as at the time I was a fit and healthy 29-year-old. But right from my diagnosis the company has supported and continued to assist me. I was also given the opportunity to speak openly about my illness to bring awareness to others.

“Being the sort of person I am, when my illness prevented me from making a cup of tea, I signed up to compete in the London Marathon to raise money for the MS Society who provide amazing support. Taking part in the marathon was a longheld dream and I’m proud to say that I did it, less than a year after being diagnosed. I truly believe you can do anything you set your mind to!

“I have also been fortunate enough to be part of the company’s diversity, equity and inclusion steering group. It is a space to share experiences, foster an inclusive atmosphere, and support equity in the workplace so that people can bring their true selves to work. I am currently on maternity leave, and while I love being a new mum, I am excited to return to Kinto and be part of lots of new opportunities. See you soon!”

Hazel Clint, health and safety senior manager, Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK)

“I started at Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) as a graduate over 28 years ago. During that time I have benefited from many divisional rotations, from production control and operations to my current role in health and safety. This has given me a fantastic insight into many areas of the business.

“I’ve never been made to feel that being a woman was an issue. I have been treated fairly, and promotions have always been based on merits. My rotation to the shop floor was initially a little daunting, being the first female manager in a department made up almost entirely of men. Nevertheless, the response I received was amazing. They were so respectful and I learnt a great deal from this positive experience. I hope it was reciprocal.

“Because of all the training, development and experiences I have received during my time at TMUK, I am proud to be able to support all members coming through the business to be their best selves. I have supported coaching and mentoring programmes, and been able to help members in their own career paths. It is hard managing life and work, especially in manufacturing. However, I realised that by supporting each other we can all thrive.”

Recruitment at Toyota

Based on these real-life Women’s History Month experiences, have you been inspired to apply to work for Toyota and begin your own inclusive story? The following companies are key members of the Toyota family within the UK. Click on each company name to be taken to the home page of its official website.

Additional articles within our Women’s History Month series:

Learn more: How Toyota is contributing to International Women’s Day 2024

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