Women in Motorsport Commission eyes new targets for 2021 | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Women in Motorsport Commission eyes new targets for 2021

12.02.21

The first 2021 meeting of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, chaired by its long-standing President Michèle Mouton, took place, online, on 11 February.

During her opening address, Ms Mouton welcomed seven new members to the Commission, which is now a 36-strong body focused on promoting the sport’s accessibility and inclusivity, and encouraging participation in all areas, both on and off the track.

The recent conclusion of the first edition of the FIA Girls on Track – Rising Stars programme, in which Maya Weug was selected as the first female to join the Ferrari Driver Academy, was reviewed and exciting plans for the potential expansion of the programme discussed. The provisional timeline for the second edition of Girls on Track – Rising Stars was also presented, with the worldwide detection of young female talent planned between March and May 2021.

When restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic permit, the Commission also intends to restart its highly successful Girl on Track activations at high-profile Formula E events. Designed to welcome young girls to the world of motor sport, the activities showcase a number of areas where youngsters could envisage a career in the sport and has already opened the eyes of thousands of girls to the possibilities available to them.

The new Girls on Track – Virtual Experiences, introduced in 2020 to continue engaging with a worldwide audience during the pandemic, was also praised by the members. Statistics presented showed that more than 10,000 unique viewers watched six Live Talks hosted by female role models in a variety of occupations, reaching more than 700,000 people from around the world through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Online workshops covering the basics of PR, medicine in the sport, volunteers and officials and motor sport photography, were equally successful. Held on Zoom, the four workshops gathered nearly 1,200 participants from over 80 countries, reaching an additional 106,700 people. With a combined total reach of more than 800,000 people, the Girls on Track – Virtual Experiences have demonstrated the community’s desire to engage with like-minded and successful females. Regardless of COVID-19, these will continue into 2021, potentially kicking off with a second Volunteers and Officials Workshop, such was the success of the first. ASN representatives on the Commission were also encouraged to engage with youngsters in this way on a national level to broaden the reach and ensure total inclusivity in their own language. A specific logo, designed to reflect these national Girls on Track - Virtual Experience events, will also be developed to support the ASNs.

The success of the Richard Mille Racing Team and Iron Dames programmes in the European Le Mans Series were also commended by all. This season, both teams will have expanded programmes, taking them to the FIA World Endurance Championship for the first time. With six drivers making up two all-female crews, this is a record in the history of FIA World Championships. Two other female drivers, Katherine Legge and Christina Nielsen, also successfully kicked off their IMSA campaign in America earlier this month.

Ms Mouton confirmed the Commission’s on-going support of Extreme E, the new all-electric off-road series which supports gender equality with females and males teaming up in a two-person crew to compete together and against each other. Already eight top female drivers have been confirmed with another two to be announced.

Regional representatives from Latin America, North America, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa also updated the Commission on developments within their regions.

It was also announced that two new career booklets - aimed at those wondering what opportunities are available to them in the sport - would be launched imminently, showcasing the success of women in a number of different roles in the sport. These will be available in English, French and Spanish initially, but will be available from the Commission Secretariat for local translations.

International Women’s Day, March 8, will also be supported by the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission with a number of online activations and webinars to highlight this year’s theme “Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”.

Finally, the third FIA Women in Motorsport Commission Seminar was confirmed as taking place within the framework of the FIA's annual Conference Week scheduled to take place in Monaco from July 5-7). The aim of the Seminars is to unite ASNs and their National Women in Motorsport Representatives with a host of guest speakers and role models in the sport to further develop programmes around the world, showcase initiatives and share best practices. Further information and registration details, for live or online attendance, will be sent to ASNs and the Women in Motorsport National Representatives in due course.