A group headed up by Women in Motorsport Expert Committee members Laura Cooledge and Laura Christmas is paving the way for more women to be involved in Club motorsport. Historically very few women have held competition licences, with just 5% of Motorsport UK licence holders identifying as female.
Laura Cooledge explains: “I did a dissertation for my University course on why so few women were involved in motorsport. Of 150 who completed a study, 47% said they felt uncomfortable while involved in any discipline. One in four said they had felt excluded from competing, volunteering or working in motorsport due to their gender. There was clearly an issue that needed further exploration.”
Laura and Laura, along with other members of the Anglia Motor Sport Club, launched the Better Together initiative in 2021. Comprised of both men and women who participate in a variety of roles and disciplines in motorsport across East Anglia, the group unites their passion to make motorsport a more inclusive space for all.
As a result of their initiatives, which have included social media campaigns, webinars and learning modules, Clubs across the region have adopted a revised Code of Conduct and shared video messages in their club magazines, websites and event regulations to show how events can – and should – be inclusive and accessible. Keeping two-way dialogue open is key and Club officials and event organisers are welcome to ask for feedback as to how inclusive their events are and what they can do to improve things in the future.
Social media, and appropriate use of any platform, has also been a key focus of the group. Better Together has supported Clubs to establish better processes and protocol, so that if any incidents do happen that are aggressive or derogatory towards women, they are dealt with quickly and appropriately, with inappropriate comments towards women removed quickly and subsequently reflected upon to ensure a similar situation does not occur again.
This initiative is closely aligned to Motorsport UK’s Race With Respect initiative that champions a high standard of behaviour from everyone within the motorsport community underpinned by our commitment to make motorsport an inclusive and safe sport for everyone, across all levels of motorsport. Find out more at https://www.motorsportuk.org/racewithrespect/.
Laura Cooledge comments: “The group continues to push to improve equality and diversity in Club motorsport. Awareness and education of the motorsport community of the issues and barriers that exist towards women is so important so that they can react appropriately and prevent any negative experiences from reoccurring in the future. Our advice to others would be to embrace equality and diversity, as we need to give club motorsport a future. If we don’t do something now to make motorsport more accessible to all and to bring new people into the sport, then club motorsport may not exist in years to come. We are however hopeful that attitudes are changing and more women are feeling comfortable to enter the sport.”
To find out more about Motorsport UK’s commitment to inclusion and our commitment to promoting greater female participation, please visit Women in Motorsport – Motorsport UK – The beating heart of motorsport