In the Women Automotive Network’s most recent Leadership Interview, Micha Goebig, the founder and CEO of Go Big Coaching and Communications, had the honour of speaking with Linda Jackson, the Global CEO of Peugeot.
As a prominent figure in the automotive industry, Jackson shared her remarkable journey and insights into leading in a male-dominated field.
Career Highlights and Achievements:
The interview delved into Linda Jackson’s illustrious career, highlighting her roles at Jaguar Land Rover, the Rover Group, and her transformative leadership at PSA, where she initially held senior leadership positions at Citroen, most distinctly as the Brand’s Global CEO from 2014 to 2020.
For the past three years she has been the global CEO of Peugeot and a member of the Stellantis top executive team.
Jackson emphasised that being appointed as a brand CEO was the proudest moment of her career, akin to moving from the bottom of Mount Everest to its peak. Then to get a second chance to be a part of an even more iconic French brand was just like the cherry on the cake of her career.
Reflecting on the challenges she faced, Jackson acknowledged the importance of self-confidence, particularly for someone with a perfectionist mindset. She shared her personal challenge of overcoming self-doubt and the turning point when she decided to step out of her comfort zone, a move that ultimately shaped her career trajectory.
The Exciting Future of the Automotive Industry:
Jackson expressed her enthusiasm for the current state of the automotive industry, describing it as an exciting and disruptive period. The shift towards electrification, digitalisation, and evolving customer experiences presents unparalleled opportunities.
She emphasised that the industry’s focus on sustainability and the pursuit of becoming carbon-neutral at Peugeot by 2038 make it an ideal time for individuals, especially women, to enter the automotive sector.
“I am jealous of the people that are coming into the industry right now, it’s an ultra-exciting time.”
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:
Addressing the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace, Jackson talked about the significance of diverse perspectives in fostering creativity and innovation.
She highlighted the global nature of her team and the value it brings to understanding diverse customer needs. Jackson expressed her commitment to promoting DEI within the automotive industry, recognising the positive impact of diverse teams on overall performance.
The Role of Women’s Networks:
Acknowledging the Women Automotive Network, Jackson stressed the importance of such networks in providing a safe environment for women to share experiences and support each other. She emphasised the power of authenticity in mentoring, allowing individuals to learn from real experiences rather than theoretical concepts.
“If I can help encourage more people to come into this great Automotive industry and really be proud of what they’re doing, then I think it’s all worthwhile.”
Advice for the Next Generation:
In offering advice to her 16-year-old self or any young woman entering the workforce, Jackson underscored the importance of hard work, self-belief, stepping out of one’s comfort zone, persistence, and, above all, having fun.
She encouraged individuals to never give up on their aspirations and find enjoyment in their careers.
The interview with Linda Jackson provided a rare glimpse into the dynamic world of automotive leadership and the positive impact of embracing diversity and empowering women.
Jackson’s journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring leaders, especially women, looking to navigate and excel in traditionally male-dominated industries. As the automotive industry continues to evolve, Linda Jackson stands as a beacon of leadership, driving change and fostering a more inclusive future.
If you missed the live interview, you can see the recording on Women Automotive Network’s YouTube Channel here.
Next up in the Leadership Interview series will be George Ayres, Managing Director of AutoMobility Advisors, who will host Chris Feuell, CEO of Chrysler Brand, Stellantis, on January 17th at 3pm, discussing ‘Marketing to Women and Marketing Yourself.’
Fuell will focus on marketing to women buyers and their unique needs, offering insight from her first-hand experience as a woman buyer, as well as sharing her experience about the progress of women in the automotive industry.