The Power of women in MINI
The Power of women in MINI. In an increasingly changing world, the exceptional women of the MINI team represent a source of inspiration and motivation for those who are building self-confidence. Petra Beck, Elena Eder and Khrystyne Zuria are proof that gender equality in the workplace is a catalyst for creative solutions that drive innovation.
Not so long ago, the automotive industry was entirely male-dominated and female figures were almost non-existent. However, changes and initiatives have gradually led to more and more women exerting their influence in such organisations, as in the case of MINI, where the role of women has been a recipe for success for inspiring products.
Here are three strong women from diverse fields of expertise who are valuable teammates and leaders in their roles in key projects at MINI.
A woman and the fastest MINI ever built.
Petra Beck has witnessed a breakthrough towards gender equality. She decided to study electrical engineering when the proportion of women was then less than ten percent: “I didn’t really realise at the time of the decision that it would be a culture shock (…) You have to be really interested, enthusiastic and also have a bit of stamina”.
A great team, international work and diverse tasks are the essential elements of Petra’s management at BMW Group since 2007, where she currently works as Project Manager for various exciting products at MINI. One of her most outstanding projects so far has been the series development of the fastest MINI ever produced in a leading role: the MINI John Cooper Works GP, an extreme and daring rarity with an output of up to 306 hp.
The first MINI 100% Electric developed under the leadership of a woman.
Elena Eder includes “diversity” in her cover letter and is convinced that determination, openness and an attitude that embraces diversity are the best recipe against the restrictions that still too often stand in the way of women: “Being different is neither good nor bad, you just have to understand it first (…) no one should fit into a prejudice or pattern”.
The mechanical engineer and mother of three has made a home for herself at MINI, where she serves as Project Manager. As a team leader, she was instrumental in bringing MINI’s first 100% electric model, the MINI Cooper SE, onto the road. She adds that, although she immersed herself professionally in a male-dominated niche, she never felt it was limiting: “I never wanted to see it as a man’s job. I just saw it as a passion, that’s where I wanted to go”.
The largest and most versatile MINI was created by a woman.
For many, the MINI Countryman is the most adventurous model in the MINI family. This off-road SUV owes its expressive design in large part to Exterior Designer Khrystyne Zurian. Her love for MINI was awakened during her studies at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles; a MINI Cooper S Chili Red model with black contrast roof was the first vehicle with which she had an immediate emotional connection. From then on she knew that one day she wanted to work for MINI.
Although Khrystyne was a little intimidated at the start of her career with the brand in 2010, she quickly learned to trust in her own abilities. She admits that one of the most challenging tasks in her job is laying the groundwork for the character of a new model and wrestling with the demands of technology. However, she acknowledges that succeeding in these processes is no longer a gender issue: “There are quite a few women moving the automotive industry now, and it seems to be increasing all the time”.
These three women are an example of the progress towards true equality at MINI, where diversity is now a constant and where the motto is: “We are all different, but together we are better”. And there is no other way to be a future-oriented premium car manufacturer when on average half of all MINI units are bought and driven by women.
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