Panelists revealed for Great British Women in the Car Industry – Rising Stars 2019

The automotive experts that will present at this year’s Great British Women in the Car Industry – Rising Stars event have been revealed. 

The event, held on Wednesday 19 June at 30 Euston Square in London, will open with speeches from Aston Martin president of the Americas Laura Schwab and Peugeot ambassador and former Fed Cup captain Judy Murray.

Rob Halloway and Rachael Thompson will then discuss their experience of sitting on a gender-equal board at Mercedes-Benz, before our panel of leading Rising Stars reflect on their time in motoring. We’ll also hear from Val Risk, 2018 Times Business in the Community Gender Champion, who will be sharing her thoughts on improving diversity in the business sector. 

Autocar’s managing director, Rachael Prasher, will chair a debate between motoring’s high-profile leaders, with panellists including:

▪ Cath Sibbald, vice-president of human resources at CDK Global

▪ Neil Williamson, CEO of automotive dealership group Jardine Motors

▪ Friederike Kienitz, vice-president for legal, external and government affairs at Nissan

▪ Paul Van der Burgh, managing director of Toyota UK

▪ Elaine Cole, commercial director at Vertu Motors

▪ Alex Smith, managing director of Volkswagen Group UK

Prasher said: “We have a great line-up joining us for this year’s Great British Women – Rising Stars event with a wealth of experience across the breadth of the automotive industry coming together to recognise some of the brightest names in the business. 

“Our speakers and panellists have worked to promote the opportunities for promising females in the automotive industry. It will be great to hear their thoughts on the opportunities available, and how UK automotive recognises and promotes the outstanding qualities of these women going forward.” 

The evening will conclude with an awards ceremony celebrating the achievements of each category winner and overall winner from the Great British Women in the Car Industry – Rising Stars top 100 shortlist.

The event is held in partnership with the SMMT, with support from headline sponsors CDK Global, Nissan and Toyota, and support partners Peugeot and VW Group. Tickets for the event are strictly limited, with priority given to winners and past winners. However, a limited number of tickets are still available. To register an interest, contact Autocar at