Fiona Pargeter, head of global PR communications at Jaguar Land Rover, has been named as the leader in the communications category of Autocar magazine’s ‘Great British Women in the Car Industry’ list. In 2009, Pargeter joined JLR as global PR director for Land Rover after working at Ford, Volvo and Nissan. She talks to Gorkana about her experience as a woman in a male-dominated industry.
You’ve been chosen to lead the communications category of the Autocar list, what does that mean to you?
I am very honoured. The automotive industry in the UK employs over 160,000 people but only attracts around 16% females.
It isn’t that women are not welcome in the automotive field – throughout history there have been numerous female heroines. The funny thing is, most of these women are still completely unknown and many of them very rarely receive the credit they rightfully deserve.
Thanks to the Autocar initiative we can highlight the fact that women can be successful in automotive and inspire more to take up a career in the field.
What do you like about working for Jaguar Land Rover?
We have great products, brands, design, technology and heritage, this gives the PR communications team a wealth of exciting stories to tell. Above all, it’s the people who work at Jaguar Land Rover. Their creativity and can do attitude deliver outstanding products which make the company an exciting place to be.
What do you like about working in the car sector?
It’s energetic, dynamic, ever-changing and highly competitive. I love driving and I get to drive some fantastic cars.
What are the challenges associated with car communications?
With automotive purchase journeys increasingly taking place online, there is a need for greater focus on digital channels to pick up customers in the early phases of their research.
This presents a challenge for car communications to grab the attention of these researchers and eventually move them offline for a test drive or a visit to a local dealership.
There’s also the challenge of measuring online efforts when customers use so many channels, as tracking leads from website to dealership isn’t always simple.
The Autocar list is a result of the under-representation of women in the car industry. How has this shaped your own career trajectory?
It’s had advantages and disadvantages, but overall I have worked on the basis of giving my best, being curious, constantly learning and being a good team player.
What car do you drive?
Range Rover Sport.
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