Bentley’s renowned ‘Extraordinary Women’ program continues to gain momentum as it selects a new cohort of exceptional students, this time hailing from the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia.
These talented individuals were invited to Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe, UK, marking the final stage of the program’s bespoke mentorship initiative. With a focus on inspiring future female leaders in technology, engineering, design, and business, the ‘Extraordinary Women‘ program aims to encourage young women to pursue careers in STEM and the automotive industry. Building on the success of its inaugural edition, the 2023 program brought together eight students and matched them with esteemed mentors from both the UK and Saudi Arabia.
Behind the Scenes at Bentley’s Headquarters
Bentley extended a warm welcome to four students from esteemed partner universities in the UK, namely Loughborough, Bath, Warwick, and Manchester Metropolitan University. Joining them were four students from Dar Al Hekma University in Saudi Arabia.
During their visit to Bentley’s headquarters, these bright minds had the exclusive opportunity to delve into the brand’s manufacturing operations, engage with senior automotive leaders, and present their ideas to a distinguished panel of Bentley experts. The visit to Bentley’s facilities served as a culmination of the students’ involvement in the mentorship program, which began with a rigorous selection process in collaboration with Bentley’s partner universities.
Inspiring Mentorship and Pioneer Involvement
The eight students selected as mentees for the program were assigned dedicated mentors known as Bentley Pioneers. In the UK, these esteemed Pioneers included Amanda Levete, an architect renowned for winning the RIBA Stirling Prize, Megane Montabonel, a product manager at Focal & Naim, and Hayley Hunton, the Head of Financial Planning at Bentley Motors.
Representing the Saudi Pioneers were Mishaal Ashemimry, an accomplished aerospace engineer and founder of MISHAAL Aerospace, Noha Zagzoug, an Associate at Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Nadine Attar, a talented designer and founder of Nadine’s Jewellery, and Nicola Gough, an expert from the Bentley Motors product strategy team.
Amanda Levete, one of the UK Pioneers, expressed her enthusiasm for the initiative, stating, “This is a great initiative to encourage young women from underrepresented backgrounds to enter the very male-dominated automotive business. Thank you Bentley for introducing me to my extraordinary mentee, Gauri.”
Life-Changing Experiences and Limitless Possibilities
Nada Hudaib Aljaid, a student from Dar al-Hekma University, described her participation in Bentley’s ‘Extraordinary Women’ program as a life-changing opportunity. Grateful for the mentorship and guidance provided by the experts she met, she expressed her deep appreciation for the unique chance to visit Bentley’s headquarters. The experience ignited her passion for STEM and automotive, showcasing the vast array of possibilities that lie ahead.
Gauri Morjaria, a student at the University of Warwick, echoed these sentiments, stating, “The program provided invaluable insights. Having the opportunity to interact with numerous Bentley engineers and colleagues and learn about their careers and passions was truly inspiring. This week has been incredibly enlightening, and I eagerly await what the future holds for me.”
Bentley’s Commitment to Empowering Future Female Leaders
Dr Karen Lange, Member of the Board for Human Resources at Bentley Motors, emphasized the importance of the ‘Extraordinary Women’ program, stating, “As we welcome another group of inspirational young women to our head office this year, the program aligns with our Beyond100 goals to increase female participation in the industry. Empowering the future generation of female leaders remains a key focus for us, extending beyond the automotive sector.”
In Saudi Arabia, the four students from Dar al-Hekma University who participated in the program were Nada Ayman Alzahrani (Computer Science), Sarah Nahill Alrawi (Finance), Joud Mustafa Zahran (Graphic Design), and Reem Mohammed Alsamkari (Cyber Security). In the UK, the program welcomed Gauri Morjaria (MEng Automotive Engineering from the University of Warwick), Judith Mburu (MSc Finance and Investment from Loughborough University), Polly Berryman (Mechanical Engineering from the University of Bath), and Alisha Nasim (Technology & Cyber Security from Manchester Metropolitan University).
The Ongoing ‘Extraordinary Women’ Initiative
Bentley’s ‘Extraordinary Women’ program forms an integral part of the brand’s broader Diversity and Inclusion commitment under its Beyond100 strategy. Through this initiative, Bentley seeks to inspire and educate young women worldwide, equipping them with the skills and mindset necessary to assume leadership positions in their chosen professional fields. By championing diversity and empowering female talent, Bentley continues to drive positive change within the industry and beyond.