IAM RoadSmart chief executive Sarah Sillars named in Autocar Great British Women in the Car Industry

Posted on 13/07/16 |

IAM RoadSmart chief executive Sarah Sillars OBE has been named in Autocar’s Great British Women in the Car Industry 2016.

The awards, which named 100 inspirational British women from the automotive industry, were celebrated at a reception at the SMMT on Friday (08/07) afternoon.

Sarah was recognised in the Executive category, alongside leading industry figures such as Alison Fowler, Ford of Europe, Nikki King OBE, honorary chairman of Isuzu Truck UK and Wendy Williams, chief executive and company secretary of the IAAF (Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation).

Sarah joined IAM RoadSmart in February 2015, having previously overseen the commercialisation of Semta, the sector skills council for engineering and advanced manufacturing.

She has a long and illustrious career within the automotive sector, having been CEO and Executive Chair of the Institute of the Motoring Industry (IMI). They made her an Honorary Fellow and Vice President on her departure in 2012.

She was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June 2008 for services to skills training and the retail motor industry.

Sarah has more than 25 years of experience within the motor and retail industries, having begun her career with Marks & Spencer, managing stores in England and later as Operations Director at automotive management consultancy Anne Gray Associates.

Sarah said: “What can I say? It’s a fantastic honour to be recognised alongside so many brilliant women, from across the industry. Automotive is a great sector to work in, because of the diversity of roles and the opportunities to progress. Just look at the Autocar list!

“While the car industry is often perceived as male dominated, these awards demonstrate that there are opportunities for all. I’d recommend anybody interested in a career in this area to talk to the IMI who are really championing careers in all areas, whether that’s PR, marketing, business management, IT or the core business of engineering, sales and aftermarket.”  

The judging panel, was made up of Autocar’s Brand Director Rachael Prasher, Jim Holder, Steve Cropley, Rachel Burgess, Mel Falconer, and Vicky Parrott from Autocar’s editorial department, plus SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes and director of communications and international, Tamzen Isacsson. 

The initiative is backed by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Direct Line Group, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and KPMG. Additional support comes from Gaia Innovation.


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IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

To find out more about IAM RoadSmart products and services visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com