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In the latest installment of the Women Automotive Network Leadership Interview series, we hosted a compelling LinkedIn Live interview featuring a dynamic discussion with Wiebke Ståhl, Managing Director Brand & Licensing Bugatti Rimac with our host Caroline Trudeau, Storyteller, Strategist & Senior Industry Advisor. The conversation explored the intricacies of company culture, the importance of leadership, and the evolving landscape of the automotive industry, with a particular focus on women's roles and experiences in this traditionally male-dominated field. 




A Culture of Openness and Innovation 

The discussion began with an exploration of Bugatti Rimac's corporate culture with Wiebke emphasizing the brand's international essence and open mindset. Despite being new to the company, she highlighted the absence of rigid, authority-driven protocols, describing the environment as one that promotes entrepreneurial freedom and innovation. 

"The culture is very, very open and very, very open-minded. It's not authority-driven at all," she remarked, reflecting the inclusive and empowering atmosphere fostered within the organization. This culture of openness extends across the organization, allowing team members to operate with significant autonomy and creativity. This flexible approach is essential for fostering a workplace where employees feel valued and motivated to contribute their best. 


The Importance of Women in Leadership 

The conversation also delved deeply into the critical role of women in leadership within the automotive industry. Wiebke shared her personal experiences and the challenges she faced as a woman in a predominantly male sector. She emphasized the need for women to "dare to dream big" and to take bold steps in their careers. 

"Dare to dream big in terms of your career. Go one step further and dare to speak out,"

she advised. This encouragement was aimed at breaking the often self-imposed barriers that women face in their professional growth. By being more direct and vocal about their ambitions, women can pave the way for greater achievements and leadership roles. 


Overcoming Barriers and Encouraging Growth 

Reflecting on her own journey, Wiebke highlighted the importance of direct communication and self-advocacy. "Leaders grow by nature; they are innovators and add value to each company because they push the boundaries," she stated. This mindset is particularly crucial for women who aspire to leadership positions. By continuously pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo, women can create significant impact and drive progress within their organizations.


The Role of Mentorship and Support Networks 

The interview also touched upon the importance of mentorship and support networks in fostering women's career growth. Underscoring the value of having mentors who can provide guidance, support, and encouragement. These relationships can be pivotal in helping women navigate their careers and overcome challenges. 

"Reflect on what you’ve learned, what you did well, and where you want to become better. Leaders grow by pushing the boundaries,"

she advised, emphasizing the continuous process of self-improvement and learning that is essential for effective leadership. 


Inspiring the Next Generation 

One of the most powerful messages from the interview was the importance of inspiring the next generation of women in the automotive industry. Wiebke called on current leaders to be role models and to actively support young women entering the field. By sharing their experiences and providing opportunities for growth, established professionals can help foster a more inclusive and diverse industry. 

"Dare to grow. Don’t stay where you are; dare to speak your mind and be daring,"

she encouraged, summarizing the ethos that has driven her own success. This message of empowerment and boldness is crucial for encouraging more women to pursue and succeed in careers within the automotive industry. 


Final Thoughts 

In summary, the Women Automotive Network interview provided valuable insights into the evolving culture in the Automotive Industry and underscored the importance of leadership, innovation, and empowerment for women in the automotive industry. The conversation highlighted the need for openness, support, and continuous growth, and left the audience with much to ponder and apply in their own professional journeys. 

The session was an inspiring reminder of the potential for positive change and progress when women dare to dream big, take risks, and lead with confidence and clarity. As the automotive industry continues to evolve, the inclusion and advancement of women will be essential for driving innovation and achieving greater success. 


Don't worry if you missed the live interview, you can watch the recording on our YouTube Channel here

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