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Equal Opportunities


Key statistics:

  • 18% of sector employees in England are female.
  • 100% of all skilled trades occupations are held by men.
  • 14% of all managerial positions are held by women.
  • 21% of the workforce in Scotland is female, 21% in Wales and 16% in Northern Ireland.

There is a significant gender bias within most occupations in the automotive retail sector with men outnumbering women in almost all occupations. 100% of all skilled trades occupations are held by men as are 86% of all managerial positions. Women make up the majority of workers only in administrative and secretarial roles where they account for 70% of workers. This category represents 44% of all female occupations within the automotive retail sector, reflecting the overall male dominance of the industry.

With only 18% of the workforce in England being made up by women in the motor industry, one of the key challenges facing the retail motor industry is how to attract a more diverse workforce.

The Women & Work programme was designed to attract women into the sector, so they develop the skills they need to operate in the automotive retail industry. It also will develop women already working in the industry, by enhancing their current skills and opening up more opportunities for promotion. The aim of the programme is to help change behaviours and address poor practice in the sector by improving how employers recruit, support and develop women in the industry through a sustainable model that provides ongoing support for females in the workplace.

Source: IMI Workforce Profile 2009, Information from Automotive Skills 2007, Automotive Skills SSA Stage 1 – UK 2006a and Working Futures 2006


In 2008, approximately 6% of the sector workforce was from ethnic minority groups, compared to 11% across all sectors in the economy.

The automotive retail sector employs a slightly lower proportion of people from ethnic minority groups than all UK industries. At a regional level, employees from ethnic minority groups account for between 0% and 6% of all employees with the exception of London where 16% of all employees are from ethnic minorities.

Source: IMI Workforce Profile 2009


The age profile of the automotive retail sector workforce is similar to that across all sectors in the UK. The average age of workers in the automotive retail sector is 39 years. Those aged between 25 and 44 account for nearly 50% of the overall workforce, while those under 19 contribute 17% to the workforce, and those over 45, 35%.

There are slightly higher proportions of workers at younger ages 16-29 in the automotive retail sector, possibly reflective of higher levels of apprenticeship as a means to entry into the sector. Proportions of workers in the 40 to 59 years age bands are also moderately higher.

Source: IMI Workforce Profile 2009 and Automotive Skills SSA Stage 1 – UK 2006a


There seems to be little statistical information about those in the automotive industry with a disability.