March 8 is the International Working Women’s Day. It is necessary to discuss what it means for women that more cars are traditionally linked to male images.
Different countries and regions have different ways to celebrate the festival. Some focus on respect, appreciation and love for women, and some celebrate women’s achievements in the economic, political and social fields. At present, the Chinese scientific and technological community is very concerned about how to further release the human capital value and creativity of female scientific and technological workers, and how to create a good career development environment for female scientific and technological workers. It has issued policies such as Several Measures to Support Female Scientific and Technological Talents to Play a Greater Role in Scientific and Technological Innovation. The automobile industry, which is experiencing unprecedented changes in a hundred years, is an important field of technological innovation. On the eve of the festival, the China Society of Automotive Engineering hosted the sixth Women’s Technological Innovation Salon and the Women’s Elite Forum of the China Association for Science and Technology.
The author was invited to host a round-table forum with the theme of “women’s power and value balance in the automobile industry”, including senior female researchers and executives from scientific research institutes, press and publishing institutions, and start-up companies, from women’s career development in the automobile field to the balance between life and work, and then to the need to learn more about the experience of women drivers in the algorithm of automatic driving. The heated discussion concluded in one sentence: cars will not let women go away, and women’s power is participating in the automobile industry with unprecedented depth and breadth.
The French philosopher Beauvoir said in “Second Sex” that except for the natural physiological sex, all “female” characteristics of women are caused by society, and so are men. She stressed that the environment has a great impact on gender equality, even the decisive force. Because of the level of productivity development, women have been in the position of “second sex” since human beings entered the patriarchal society. But today, we are facing the fourth industrial revolution. The mode of social production, which is more dependent on physical strength, is rapidly changing to scientific and technological innovation, which is more dependent on high intelligence and creativity. In this context, women have gained unprecedented space for development and more freedom of choice. Women’s influence in social production and life has risen rapidly. A society more inclined to gender equality is accelerating.
The changing automobile industry is a good carrier, providing women with more choices and freedom, both in life and career development.
The car has been inextricably bound up with women since its birth. The first car driver in the world is Bertha Linger, the wife of Carl Benz; Female customers of a luxury brand account for 34%~40%; According to the statistics of survey organizations, women’s opinions play a decisive role in the last three choices of family car purchase. Automobile enterprises have never paid more attention to the feelings of female customers. In addition to catering more to female customers in terms of shape and color, they also pay more attention to the experience of female passengers in terms of internal design, such as female exclusive passenger car; The popularity of automatic transmission vehicles, the application of navigation maps, autonomous parking and other auxiliary driving and even higher level of automatic driving functions, including car sharing, all allow women to gain more freedom and happiness in cars.
Data, software, intelligent Internet connection, Generation Z… cars are endowed with more fashionable and technological elements. Automobile and automobile enterprises are gradually getting rid of the image of “science and technology man”, starting to “go out of the circle”, “cross border”, “literature and art”, and gender labels are also more neutral.
Although this is still an industry dominated by male engineers, with the empowerment of various software and new technologies, more and more female automotive engineers have appeared in the list of senior R&D personnel and senior managers in recent years. Automobile is providing women with broader career growth space.
In multinational automobile companies, the vice presidents in charge of public affairs are often women, such as Yang Meihong of Ford China and Wan Li of Audi China. They use women’s power to build fresh emotional links between products and users, enterprises and consumers and media. Among the Chinese auto brands, there are not only Wang Fengying, the famous car player who has just become the president of Xiaopeng Automobile, but also Wang Ruiping, the senior vice president of Geely, who is engaged in the research and development of hard-core technology power system. They are both far-sighted and courageous, and have unique skills and bold style. They have become a sea god. More female executives have appeared in self-driving startup companies, such as Cai Na, vice president of Minmo Zhihang, Huo Jing, vice president of Qingzhou Zhihang, and Teng Xuebei, senior director of Xiaoma Zhihang. There are also many excellent women in the automotive industry organizations, such as Gong Weijie, Deputy Secretary-General of the China Society of Automotive Engineering, and Zhao Haiqing, President of the Automotive Branch of the Mechanical Industry Press.
Brand and public relations are the traditional areas of expertise of female motorists, and there are many grassroots employees to middle and senior managers. Over the years, we have seen more leaders in scientific research and academic fields where women are prone to “high absences”, such as Zhou Shiying, vice president of FAW Group Research and Development Institute, Wang Fang, chief scientist of China Automotive Technology Research Center, and Nie Bingbing, a very young associate professor and deputy secretary of the Party Committee of the School of Vehicle and Transportation at Tsinghua University, Zhu Shaopeng, deputy director of the Institute of Power Machinery and Vehicle Engineering of Zhejiang University, who has carried out domestic pioneering research in the field of electrical machinery
According to the latest statistics of the China Association for Science and Technology, there are 40 million female scientific and technological workers in China, accounting for 40%. The author has no data on the auto industry, but the emergence of these “high ranking” female auto workers can at least make the industry see more women’s power and provide more possibilities for the career development of other female technology workers.
In the automobile industry, what kind of power is the rising female power?
At the round-table forum, guests put forward many key words, such as observation, empathy, tolerance, resilience, and so on. The most interesting thing is that autonomous vehicle are found to be “rude” in the test. It turns out that the reason is that they more simulate the driving habits of male drivers. Therefore, automated driving companies think that they should let the algorithm learn more from female drivers. In fact, from the statistical data, the probability of accidents for female drivers is far lower than that for male drivers. “Women can make cars more civilized.”
Women in start-up companies mentioned that they do not want to be treated favorably because of gender, just as they do not want to be ignored because of gender. These knowledge-intensive women demand real equality in the automotive industry. The author remembered a new power of car building that had fallen down. When the company showed signs of crisis, the male founder ran away, and finally a female executive stayed behind. In all difficulties, she tried to make up for the situation and reduce her salary. At last, although it was difficult to stand alone and the building would fall, the courage, responsibility and responsibility of women at the critical moment made the circle marvel.
These two stories can be said to be the typical embodiment of women’s power in cars. Therefore, the guests said: “Be confident!”
French philosopher Sartre believed that existence precedes essence. Human beings do not decide their actions based on fixed and established human nature, but the process of self-design and self-cultivation, and determine their own existence by the sum of a series of actions. In terms of career development and personal growth, people can play their subjective initiative, confidently choose their favorite career, and persevere in struggle to achieve success. In this regard, men and women are not divided. If you put more emphasis on “women”, you will forget how to become “people”, which may be the consensus of the accomplished elite women in the automobile industry.
In this sense, the author never agrees with “Goddess’s Day” and “Queen’s Day”. If women want to pursue a better career development and personal growth environment, they must first consider themselves as “people”, not “gods” or “kings”. In modern times, the word “women”, which was widely known along with the May 4th Movement and the spread of Marxism, juxtaposed “married women” and “unmarried women”, which is exactly a manifestation of freedom and equality.
Of course, not everyone must be “elite”, and women are not necessarily required to make a difference in their career development. As long as they can choose their favorite lifestyle and enjoy it, it is the significance of this festival. Feminism should allow women to have the freedom of inner filling and equal choice.
Cars make human beings more free, and women make human beings better! Cars make women free and beautiful!
Post time: Mar-10-2023