Inspiring Inclusion through Motorsport on International Women’s Day

Friday 08 March 2024

Motorsport UK celebrates all women involved in motorsport on 2024 International Women’s Day. We are proud to #InspireInclusion within the racing community through a range of initiatives across the sport.

The incredibly successful FIA Girls on Track UK programme continues to inspire girls to follow a career in motorsport through exposing them to the skills required to work within the industry. In 2023 the well-established community immersed over 1,000 school-age girls in roles within motorsport, from engineering to communications and media.

The online community grew to reach almost 9,000 followers, providing a safe space for girls to network and promote opportunities to get started in the motorsport business, while in-person events and webinars allowed them the chance to directly ask all those pertinent questions.

2024 promises even more for Girls on Track as the programme consolidates its place in connecting ambitious young women with job roles with major industry stakeholders such as Cosworth, Alpine, Williams and McLaren. Regional hubs will be established in five different areas of the UK for in-person advice, giving even more networking opportunities – and crucially outside ‘motorsport valley’.

F1 Academy Discover Your Drive, a joint programme devised by Motorsport UK, TeamSport and F1 Academy in 2023, introduces girls aged 8 – 12 to their first taste of competitive motorsport – karting. Initially run across six TeamSport sites run across the UK, it delivered a 265% increase in girls participating in the 2023 British Indoor Karting Championship versus the previous year. Just two months into 2024, 10 Discover Your Drive days held in February Half Term holidays saw 137 girls try karting, many for the first time. More than half the attendees have since signed up for a block of Race Academy sessions to hone their skills. Four more Discover Your Drive cohorts are scheduled this year.

Further up the professional path ladder, the Motorsport UK Academy supports talented athletes on the path to motorsport success. As a gender-neutral sport both men and women are welcomed into the programme, and 53 women have passed through the various stages of the Academy over the past 10 years. A sharp increase in female participation now sees 17% female representation in 2024 Academy selections, more than three times the figure of five years ago. Strikingly 44% of the intake for the co-drivers’ programme is female.

On a Club level, female participation is increasing thanks to more welcoming environments and gender-neutral language across public facing materials and regulations. 10% of paid and free RS Clubman licences are now held by females, more than double the percentage five years ago. Interestingly, 16% of the free RS Clubman licences are held by women. The marshalling community is also seeing arise in female inclusion with 23% of all new registrations in 2023 coming from women.

Hugh Chambers, CEO of Motorsport UK, commented: “I am proud that the diversity initiatives we have put in place are not parallel to our core business; they are completely integrated and central to our vision for motorsport. Through innovative programmes such as Girls on Track, F1 Academy Discover Your Drive and the other fantastic community-led schemes to include women in multiple roles in our sport, we are seeing a real period of change. While we know that we still have much to do to be truly representative of British society, we have momentum with us and can now see that we are making progress to changing the fabric of motorsport. I am genuinely excited to see that change grow and mature even further.”