WIM – Embracing a better future for women in sport


The second day of the FIA Women in Motorsport Seminar, hosted in Monaco, covered far-reaching topics, with distinguished guests joining the delegates to share different perspectives, knowledge and experiences.


The day got underway with a probing interactive plenary and workshop entitled ‘Empowering Future Leaders’. Daniela Felleti, an executive level consultant with a fascination for human behaviour, sought to delve into the delegates’ minds to help them understand internal and external biases behind self-promotion, and therefore personal and professional development. Official data demonstrates that self-promotion is frequently highlighted by women as being outside their comfort zone, but when they do speak up, they get results. The workshop also explored perceptions, attitudes, behaviour and listening skills in support of female empowerment, demonstrating how these affect us, not only personally but also in the workplace.

Following the interactive session, the delegates split into three workshop groups. The first - Volunteers and Officials - was run by two members of the Women in Motorsport Commission. Janette Tan, Deputy Clerk of the Course for Formula One’s Singapore Grand Prix, as well as Chair of the ASN’s Volunteers and Officials Commission, and Silvia Bellot, the youngest person and the first woman to be appointed FIA Race Director for Formula 2 and Formula 3, looked at the best practices that can be used to define and implement strategies to attract, develop and retain female officials and volunteers. The new ‘Your Career as a Motor Sport Official’ booklet, launched this week, was again highlighted as a tool for ASNs to use to help attract girls and women to the sport.

The second workshop covered the importance, benefits and accessibility of grass roots motor sport, with Linda Medne, Secretary General of Latvijas Automobilu Federacija, and Hugh Chambers, CEO of Motor Sport UK, leading the session. The last of the three workshops, run by Amy Martin, a student Systems Engineer and Nathalie Moutet, director at OMDAI, underlined the role STEM plays in making our sport more diverse and inclusive, using the F1 in Schools programme as an aspirational example. The workshop also explored how ASNs can develop their own programmes to encourage more young women to take a look at a potential career in the sport based around the science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects.

The second plenary of the day then focused on Driving Knowledge Sharing. Elyse McDonald, Project Co-ordinator for Gender Equality and Inclusion at the IOC, presented the very latest Portrayal Guidelines created for the Olympic Movement stakeholders, in line with the IOC Gender Equality and Inclusion objectives for the 2021-2024 period. Importantly, this also identified the power of vocal, written and visual messages and how they - and role models - can significantly change perceptions and underline sport’s inclusivity.

Dee Caffari also joined the plenary, the Briton representing world sailing, one of the few sports, like motor sport, where men and women compete together. Chair of the World Sailing Trust, Dee - who has sailed around the world six times, including single-handed - presented the Trust’s female strategic review and its key learnings as part of its aim to grow participation in the sport from the grassroots level upwards, improve accessibility and protect its future.

Finally, Nigel Geach from Nielsen Sports helped the delegates to understand the ever-changing landscape of the sport. Despite being generally under-exploited, women’s sport is seen as competitive, inspiring and progressive, and embracing this exciting and growing market place is fundamental to progress.

The final group workshop was hosted by the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission’s six regional representatives, who outlined the role of ASN national representatives and the collaboration between countries at regional level. They also outlined the individual regions’ short, medium and long-term action plans, which also demonstrated how cultural challenges and influences affect specific needs.

Ahead of the closing remarks, Barbara Silva, the FIA’s Social Responsibility Programmes Manager, reiterated that in order to reach gender equality and parity, strong action is required with the implementation of programmes, as well as attaining equal representation at decision-making level. In addition, increased communication, spotlighting role models, along with increasing our partnerships and integrating gender perspectives into discussions, decisions and regulations all need to be driven forward.

Silva also presented a specifically commissioned illustration that summarised the content of the Women in Motorsport Seminar. Created by Scriberia, and progressively drawn throughout the two-day Seminar, this visual representation serves as a lasting reminder of the issues and topics discussed and debated by nearly 80 delegates from around the world.

In closing, Michèle Mouton, President of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, thanked the delegates for their participation and the role they have played in advancing the position of women in the sport over more than a decade of action. She did however stress the need for accelerated action by all stakeholders to ensure goals and objectives are met. In addition, Mouton thanked the guest speakers and representatives from other sports who brought a very different and inspiring perspective to the Seminar.