awards14 Jul 2016

MINI Plant Oxford engineers, Philippa Napier and Rachel Neary, have received national recognition for their work in the automotive industry, after being awarded at this year's 'Great British Women in the Car Industry' awards.

The initiative, set up by leading Autocar magazine in partnership with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, hopes that the celebration of successful women in the automotive industry will inspire more to consider a career within it.

Both Philippa and Rachel were named in the 'Rising Stars' category, which recognises ten young women who are 'making a mark on the industry and blazing a trail for more to follow'.

Philippa, 22, from Oxfordshire, is a final-year engineering technician apprentice at MINI Plant Oxford. Her career began with a stint of work experience at the plant, and she subsequently won a place on the company's apprenticeship scheme. After graduation, Philippa will begin her manufacturing career as a quality parts manager, supporting all quality-related functions throughout a product's lifecycle on the plant.

"It's really rewarding to be recognised, and so I'm delighted to have made the list. Initiatives like this are so important in raising awareness of female achievement in our industry and getting more of us to consider a career in engineering," said Philippa.

Rachel Neary, 25, from Liverpool, joined the plant as part of the BMW Group's graduate scheme back in 2013 after earning first class Master's degree in Physics. She has previously held roles at the Research and Innovation Centre in Munich and at Werk Leipzig, and is now part of MINI's production steering team, managing the transformation of sheet metal to painted body.

"I'm really excited and proud to be named in the Autocar Rising Stars list - it is a brilliant motivator to be recognised in such a way at the start of my career. It's always been my ambition to be involved in the automotive industry and I've long been fascinated with cars, how they work and how they're made," said Rachel. "It's great to see more women than ever within the automotive industry and to see such achievements celebrated and encouraged."

Frank Bachmann, MINI Plant Oxford Managing Director said "Everyone on the plant is really proud of what Rachel and Philippa have achieved. I believe they both have very bright futures ahead of them and that their stories can play a part in encouraging more young women into automotive manufacturing careers."

Philippa Napier and Rachel Neary

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