Today is International Women’s Day and The Car Guide team would like to honour women everywhere, particularly those who have made their mark—and continue to make their mark—in the historically male-driven auto industry.
This is what Mercedes-Benz has done by releasing a new film that pays tribute to the woman without whom the company would perhaps never have existed in this form: Bertha Benz.
"It was important to my team to depict Bertha Benz as a strong woman and timeless role model," explained Bettina Fetzer, Mercedes-Benz Vice President of Marketing. "Bertha was a pioneer and our first test driver. Her courage and her will not to give up too easily inspire me very much. With our film, we want to motivate people to go through life with a similarly positive, hands-on approach and to tackle challenges with confidence."
The first Mercedes test driver? In a way, yes. More than 130 years ago (this year marks her 170th birthday), she decided to draw public attention to the invention of her husband Karl by undertaking the first long-distance car journey, covering around 100 kilometres from Mannheim to Pforzheim. It was a courageous act that still inspires people to this day. In fact, Karl Benz once said that his wife was more daring than him and always pushed him to move forward with his plans.
As a side note, the proportion of women in executive positions within the Daimler group is to increase to at least 20 percent by 2020 thanks to various measures such as mentoring programs, training courses and employee networks.