Kia’s drive to empower women

Women in the motor industry, from top management positions to the workshop floor, have become a regular sight in South Africa. However, there is still a lot of room for improvement, and Kia is taking the Bull by the horns in this regard.

23 Kia Women1

This year, the Korean manufacturer says it has a focused mission to include and empower women in the automotive industry by actively promoting and recruiting women. This effort will aim to include more women in a variety of positions across its operations.

This is the brand’s next step to attract more women to the motoring business and is in keeping with Kia’s goal of becoming a top gender-empowered employer.

“By making our workforce more representative of our nation, Kia South Africa will drive our aspiration to be fully in tune with the South African way of life,” comments Gary Scott, CEO of Kia South Africa.

Latisha Naidu (HR Executive, Kia South Africa), Grant Cumming (Retail Operations Director, Kia South Africa) and Sonwabile Lugebu (Finance Director, Kia South Africa) with the female staff complement at Kia Edenvale, the company’s reigning Dealer of the Year, at the announcement of Kia’s focused drive to include more women in its retail network.

“Movement creates the space to find inspiration and fresh perspectives, which is critical to taking any step towards changing our world for the better. We’re committed to change, and specifically to change in South Africa, and our mission – to be loved by all South Africans – compels us to be better and do better, starting with our own business.”

Through various actions during 2022, Kia positioned itself in the broader business community as a brand that takes gender empowerment seriously. This approach is endorsed by Kia’s HR Executive, Latisha Naidu, who joined Kia’s executive management team in 2022. She is focused on driving transformation and empowerment across all business functions and levels in 2023 and beyond.

“We actively want to effect change in the industry, not just by shifting perceptions about women in motoring, but also through creating multiple, tangible opportunities for women to join and grow in the industry,” Latisha says. “To this end, we are taking a multi-pronged approach to ensure that women empowerment not only remains a priority but is done across all levels.

“Kia has made great strides towards empowerment and transformation in the past year, and we’re proud that our head office operations include 66% women overall, and 63% at Head of Department level,” she comments.

To this end, Kia will embark on a nationwide project, starting immediately, to recruit at least 65 female sales executives to join its fast-growing, exciting business. “We are looking for individuals who live our values of fun, simplicity, dependability, consistency and being brave,” Latisha says.

“Joining the brand as a sales executive places women at the coalface of our operations and brings excellent opportunities for training and career growth, including training towards becoming a sales manager and, ultimately, dealer principals.”

The minimum requirements for interested candidates is a matric qualification, a valid South African driver’s licence and at least one year’s sales experience, regardless of industry. “We’re opening this opportunity to women who may not have much experience in automotive sales. Our approach to development is holistic, with up to 70% being on-the-job training, complemented by online and classroom training on the Kia brand, its product line-up, and effective selling techniques,” according to her.

  • Women who are interested in joining the Kia family can apply through this link. For any other opportunities at Kia South Africa, as well as Motus, visit the Motus e-recruit portal.

More Industry News stories

New appointment at Mercedes-Benz Vans SA

New appointment at Mercedes-Benz Vans SA

Mercedes-Benz Vans South Africa has announced the appointment of Natasha Jardim (main photo) as its new Managing Executive. She succeeds Nadia Trimmel, who is moving to a new position within the Mercedes-Benz Group.

  • 22 July 2024
Mitsubishi SA graduates to diamond status in after-sales

Mitsubishi SA graduates to diamond status in after-sales

Mitsubishi Motors South Africa’s (MMSA) consistent prioritisation of customer service, customer retention and a positive brand image has resulted in the South African subsidiary receiving numerous awards as part of Mitsubishi’s annual global after-sales business excellence programme.

  • 22 July 2024