MTA Queensland Launches New ‘Auto Women’ Initiative

In 2022, women who work in the automotive industry will be able to join a new group who will guide, assist and support them through their working career.

Launched by MTA Queensland this month, the Auto Women initiative has been designed to enable women across the country to connect and network with others; share experiences, advice, and news; and receive a level of mentorship from a group of women with vast experience and knowledge from across all industry sectors and across all levels of employment, from apprenticeship to CEO level.

Excitingly, also available through the Auto Women initiative are scholarships for a series of online management training courses that will enable participants to take their career to the next level.

It will be easy to stay informed about the activities of Auto Women. Simply follow and like the Facebook page – Auto Women – as that will be the main platform for communication and collaboration, as well as for the sharing of ideas, information, and advice.

Through the year, there will be several virtual information and collaboration meetings held via the Teams platform, as well as Women on Tools in-person breakfast networking events in conjunction with the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC). There will also be an end-of-year dinner function to which everyone involved with Auto Women will be invited to attend.

A very significant feature of the initiative will be four scholarship opportunities. The scholarships, which will be fully funded, are to be available for two courses run by Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) – the well-respected national organisation that is a leading provider of professional development for women and which has as its mission a goal to develop female leaders and support the increased presence of women in business and community leadership roles.

The first training course is Leading Edge, which is aimed at early career managers, and is an online course designed to ‘enable the transition of aspiring and early career female managers into confident, capable and motivated leaders.’

Delivered over four months, and with an average time commitment of two hours per week, the content of the course includes modules on:
Supporting leadership performance
Effective interpersonal communication and feedback
Emotional intelligence and conflict
Career and professional growth
Elements of a successful team
Presence and presentation skills
Leading in times of change

Two scholarships are to be available for this course.

There will also be two scholarships available for the second course run by WLA, called Executive Ready, which is aimed at mid-level managers. This course is ‘designed to stretch mid-level leaders and propel them towards executive-level performance, behaviours and mindsets.’ It too is delivered online but is run over a longer, seven-month timeframe. Modules include:

Leadership and authenticity
Communication, presence and influence
Team dynamics
Driving performance
Leading innovation and change
Problem-solving and decision making
Purpose, priorities and professional development

These fully funded courses are an exceptional opportunity for women in the automotive industry to supercharge their careers and fulfil leadership aspirations.

MTA Queensland’s Auto Women initiative has been created for several reasons, not least of which is the under-utilised resource that women represent for an industry that is chronically short of skilled and passionate workers.

According to the Motor Trades Association of Australia’s (MTAA) Directions in Australia’s Automotive Industry: An Industry Report 2021, 52 per cent of automotive businesses are experiencing a shortage of skilled labour. The same report (quoting VACC modelling) says there is a skilled labour deficit estimated at 31,143 positions within the automotive industry nationally, and amongst that number is a deficit of more than 17,500 light vehicle mechanics.

Additionally, according to – an initiative of the Australian Government National Skills Commission – just 1 per cent of mechanics in Australia are female, while in Capricorn’s 2021 State of the Nation report on the industry, just four per cent of the automotive businesses that responded to that organisation’s survey employ women mechanics, fitters or electricians.

Women represent approximately half the nation’s population and yet their involvement and engagement in the automotive industry is extraordinarily low in the workshop environment.

Changing that makes sense for all manner of reasons. Women can, and do, bring fresh insights and vision to all levels of business, and they can also, obviously, be the resource that can fill those skilled roles within the automotive workforce.

MTA Queensland is proud to have such diversity within its own ranks. Its 11 divisions – representing all industry sectors – are each run by committees, several of which have women in leadership roles.

And the Association itself has an executive team in which women are well represented. The Auto Women initiative is, in fact, a project driven by that group, including Kellie Dewar, Deputy CEO of MTAQ Group; Kathy Winkcup, Chief Financial Officer; and Lysa Dugandzic, General Manager Communication and Marketing.

“The initiative will provide a supportive environment for women working across the automotive industry to network and grow,” said Lysa.

“The main purposes for the group are to raise the profile of women in the automotive industry, advocate for women in the industry on key issues to government, promote professional development for women and the advantages of gender diversity to employers.

“We will do this by holding virtual and in-person networking and social events that educate, connect and support women and we are so lucky to have the whole initiative driven by a passionate mentor team.

“It is really exciting to be able to provide scholarships for career enhancement for the first time too!”

Auto Women is welcoming new participants now. Joining the Facebook page is the first step to take as this journey begins.

If you want to find out more about how you can be involved in other ways, email

We look forward to hearing from you!

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