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Julia founded the social enterprise Gaia Innovation to inspire young people from less affluent backgrounds to aim higher and to equip themselves with the skills for the jobs of the future, and to escape the poverty trap of low skilled insecure employment. She employs women through spotting their potential and their transferable skills rather than relying on evidence of past performance or specific job experience, and encourages them to believe in themselves and their abilities. She achieves a high level of productivity and employee engagement in the business through flexible and agile working, and many of her team are women returners with caring responsibilities who are trusted to fit their work around these responsibilities and deliver high quality output.  Externally, Julia founded the UK Automotive 30% Club and is on the steering committee of the Global 30% Club. As a result of Julia’s work, 33 of the largest UK automotive companies have set the ambitious gender diversity goal of achieving a 30% female representation in their key roles through all organisational levels, by 2030. She designed the four phase “30 by 30” strategy that the companies have adopted, to encourage the effective hiring, retention and promotion of women in the automotive sector. Each year she runs an Inspiring Automotive Women Day, bringing 100 girls to meet women in the sector, and sending 60 volunteer “real model” women into 30 schools across the country. This year also saw her launch the Inspiring e-zine – a digital magazine aiming to create a grassroots movement to inspire women to progress, and the inaugural Inspiring Automotive Women Awards.

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