‘Making a Difference’ - FIA Women In Motorsport Seminar opens in Portugal | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

‘Making a Difference’ - FIA Women In Motorsport Seminar opens in Portugal


Nearly 80 delegates from 43 different National Sporting Authorities around the world have gathered in Lisbon, Portugal for a two-day Seminar (7-8 October)

FIA, Motorsport, Mobility, Road Safety, F1, WRC, WEC, WTCC, World RX

The second FIA Women in Motorsport Seminar began today (7 October) in Lisbon and the theme, ‘Making a Difference’, will focus on a variety of elements aimed at further defining strategies for the on-going development and encouragement of women into motor sport. At the end of the two-day event, the outcomes will help create the Women in Motorsport Commission’s ‘chart for the future’, the plan to be implemented by the governing body’s Commission and its stakeholders over the next four years.

Co-hosted by the Automóvel Club de Portugal, the Seminar has drawn together nearly 80 delegates from 43 different National Sporting Authorities around the world and aims to provide a platform for the sharing of ideas, knowledge and experiences. For the delegates, the outcomes should also energise their efforts in their regions as they seek to put in place programmes to inspire women into the sport and help overcome any barriers they feel may exist.

A host of other motor sport experts join the Seminar and will lead discussion on the topics of competition, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, volunteers and officials, educational and promotional projects, many of which will be delivered by the ASN representatives themselves. 

After the opening welcome by Automóvel Club de Portugal President Carlos Barbosa, a huge supporter of the FIA, it's campaigns and projects and in particular the Women in Motorsport Commission, Michèle Mouton, President of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, applauded the efforts of the Women in Motorsport National Representatives who have been working with the Commission since its establishment in 2009. She also underlined the value of the Seminar in highlighting success stories, and encouraged the participants to network and engage in debate and discussion to create a better understanding of the position of women in motor sport on a national and regional level.

FIA Deputy President for Sport, Graham Stoker, said in his opening address to the delegates, “The FIA Women in Motorsport Commission was one of the first issues we dealt with on our election in 2009. Some said we didn’t need it as women have always been welcome in our sport. And it is true that we are one of the very few sports where both men and women can compete together in the same competition. But the World Motor Sport Council rightly and unanimously supported the founding of the Commission and it has gone on to become one of the strongest and most active Commissions in the FIA.

“In 2014 we signed the Brighton Declaration joining 416 organisations from 82 countries in committing ourselves to increasing the role of women in sport. We are also now full members of the IOC bound by the Olympic Charter and we are committed to “encourage and support the promotion of women in sport at all levels and in all structures”, and this is an obligation for the FIA and its ASNs.

“I have spent this week at a Conference with the new Government of my country, the UK, and we have a new woman Prime Minister and a Cabinet with no less than seven high positions of state held by women. And when sport was discussed this week, the Government immediately emphasised and supported the promotion of more women in sport.

“We are learning that we are not only encouraging more women in sport, but that those women in turn become key role models for women in society, and especially for young women. Women in sport are clear transformational role models, at the cutting edge of altering the perception of the role of women in society round the world.  This therefore – your work – is a very important cause.

“I want you to continue, and re-energise the work you have done as you are changing our sport for the better, and also helping to change society, and it is vital that you reach out to the young.”

In conclusion of the opening speeches, FIA President, Jean Todt, made the following video address, “The FIA is fully committed to encouraging and supporting the promotion of women in motor sport and one of my first decisions on being elected was to ‎approve the establishment of the Women in Motorsport Commission.“Whilst a small percentage of women may be represented in our sport, the numbers are growing and I am proud to acknowledge this contribution and the important positions women now hold in motor sport.

“We have to continue to spread a positive message and strive to make our sport more accessible to women from an early age, creating real opportunities to get involved at all levels and in all areas. The work of our ASN’s national Women in Motorsport representatives is key to making a difference globally and you are invaluable in encouraging more young women into our sport.

“I wish you all a productive seminar where I am sure there will be lively and interesting debates that I look forward to hearing about, but you can be assured that I am proud of the work you are all doing and the FIA is fully supporting you.”