A 17-year-old has become CEO for the day of one of the UK’s leading automotive firms as part of a drive to encourage more young women to join the industry.

Maisy (surname not given), a teenager from Wales, was handed the reins to McLaren Automotive – Britain’s largest supercar firm. Based in Woking, McLaren produces models from the hybrid Artura through to the £1.4m Elva speedster.

Carried out to celebrate International Day of the Girl, Maisy replaced McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt for the day as part of the brand’s partnership with global children’s charity Plan International.

Maisy mirrored the work Flewitt does on a day-to-day basis and received a personal handover from the CEO before carrying out duties with the executive team. Greater collaboration was also carried out with the company’s female leaders, engineers, scientists and designers to spotlight women in the automotive industry – something McLaren is trying to promote.

The day also saw Maisie understanding key aspects of the business – from engineering to manufacturing supercars to marketing them – while also meeting brand ambassador Amanda McLaren, the daughter of the company’s founder.

Mike Flewitt, chief executive officer at McLaren Automotive, said: “Having Maisy take over as CEO of McLaren for the day to celebrate International Day of the Girl has been both an enjoyable and valuable experience for me and the whole McLaren team. Her ideas, insights and intelligence – as well as clear passion – will help us move forwards even faster in our efforts to achieve even greater diversity and inclusion.

“Maisy also got to see the incredibly exciting and diverse range of talents we depend on to produce our supercars and I hope, in the process, she has helped to dispel stereotypes associated with the automotive industry from a gender and skills perspective.

McLaren is hoping to hold workshops with 100 girls over the next 12 months, and take this up to 1,000 people globally by 2025.