Rhonda Tomlinson and Emma Whyld from Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK are category winners in the Autocar Great Women: Rising Stars awards

30 June 2023

Rhonda Tomlinson and Emma Whyld from Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK (TMUK) have won the manufacturing category and DE&I category respectively in the Autocar Great Women: Rising Stars awards and Dora Boganyi and Samantha Davis, from Toyota (GB), were named in the prestigious ‘Rising Stars’ list.

The awards celebrate the motoring industry’s best female talents who are on the fast track in successful careers, with winners chosen across 11 different categories, who were revealed at a ceremony held in Coventry yesterday.

Tomlinson is a Kaizen Section Manager at Toyota’s Burnaston manufacturing centre within assembly whose role involves Kaizen improvement activities including the European Production Kaizen Meeting as well as training and Takt activities (production line speed), safety, quality and labour.

Whyld is Section Manager Employee Relations, who leads the Employee Relations Planning Section with responsibility for D,E&I, internal communications, employee relations and employee engagement.

A total of seven awards nominations were also made from Toyota GB, from which Dora Boganyi, General Manager Customer Experience Innovation and Transformation, and Samantha Davis, Senior Manager, Network Skills, were judged to be ‘Rising Stars’.

Boganyi’s role involves Customer Experience Innovation and Transformation. The Customer Experience covers helping customers connect better with Toyota digitally, whether this is online sales channels or connected technologies and driving forward using data and insight. The Transformation part covers how we drive change with our retailer network, primarily focusing on four components of change – Digital, People, Physical engagement and how the business model evolves to meet the ever-changing customer expectations.

Davis’s role involves liaising with key Stakeholders to ensure innovative solutions are put in place to support Toyota’s strategic business priorities and overseeing the transformation of the Toyota Academy to support the needs of the Network, to help deliver an outstanding customer experience. Her recent achievements include developing a suite of training assets for the all-electric Toyota bZ4X to help network team’s handle customer enquiries, plus the development of an electrification training programme for customer facing teams.

Mark Tisshaw, Autocar’s editor, commented that the standards were higher than ever this year. “The quality of our entries was so strong that it made judging not only more difficult but more enjoyable than ever before. I know all of our winners will continue to showcase our industry at its best, both in their fast-progressing careers and personal development. We will watch their careers grow with great interest.”

Chair of the judging panel and managing director of Haymarket Automotive, Rachael Prasher, added: “I want to congratulate all of the winners and Great Women of 2023. Seeing the breadth and depth of talent and the sheer variety of roles in the automotive industry is inspiring. As we navigate our way through seismic industry change, such talent and diversity of thought has never been more vital.”

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive said: “The competition for the Great Women awards gets stronger every year, with this year’s exceptionally high calibre of entries making the judging process tougher but more rewarding than ever. Congratulations to the winners, all rising stars in their fields, whose success across such a broad range of roles is evidence of the many career opportunities automotive has to offer. Highlighting the achievements of these future business leaders can only help attract more talented people from all backgrounds and with differing skill sets into automotive jobs – and we need them all as we strive to transform the industry and, indeed, mobility in the UK and globally.”

Richard Kenworthy, Managing Director Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd said: “We’re all really proud of Emma and Rhonda. Receiving external recognition from Autocar’s Rising Stars is the icing on the cake.  They have made an amazing contribution to our teams on both a professional and personal level.  Emma has been instrumental in pushing us to new, better levels of diversity and inclusion within our organisation. Rhonda is shining example of quiet professionalism in manufacturing, delivering, with her team, significant improvements in assembly operations. I would personally like to thank them both.  These awards are well-deserved and testament to their achievements.”


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Rhonda Tomlinson and Emma Whyld from Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK are category winners in the Autocar Great Women: Rising Stars awards


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Emma Whyld (left) and Rhonda Tomlinson
Dora Bogyani
Samantha Davis

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