The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Women Who Love The Race
The motorsports industry is in an exciting and fast-paced environment to work in. Typically, it is associated with men but the motorsports industry is slowly changing, losing its male-dominated image and inviting more females to enter. As it stands, more women are starting to work behind the scenes and participating in the sports itself.
Just some of the job roles that women in motorsports are involved with are engineering to precision machinists, to customer support and deputy team principle to an F1 team. But, there are hundreds of new opportunities opening for young women so they can start a career in the world of motorsport, which is now a glamorous position to have.
To find out more about the history of women in motorsports, their growing role, their achievements, race stats and much more, look below at the latest data graphic that explores these areas. As you might expect, the USA is leading the way for women as they have had the highest number of women racing drivers over the sport’s history. However, Sweden, Australia and the United Kingdom are not far behind, as they are pioneering women racers.
Every job should find a way to inspire others and here are some key female figures in motorsports that lead the way:
- Maria Teresa De Filippis – the first woman to compete in a Formula 1 Grand Prix.
- Michele Mouton – this female rally driver won a total of 4 rallies for Audi
- Ruth Buscombe – leading the way in engineering, as a Senior Strategy Engineer with Sauber’s F1 team
- Cristiana Pace – a motorsport Senior Engineer
- Claire Williams OBE – a Deputy Team Principal of Williams F1
- Charlie Broughton – an award-winning Motorsport Technician
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WOMEN IN MOTORSPORT
There’s horsepower, petrol power, and turbo power, but then there’s girl power.
Below we explore the inspirational story of women in motorsport through the ages, from aerodynamics engineers to Grand Prix drivers.
Where are all the Women Racing Drivers?
Famed for NASCAR, drag races and the Indy 500, the USA is home to the majority of women racing drivers, however, plenty of smaller nations are involved in the action. Sweden has the second largest population of women racers, followed by the UK. The women of South America and Oceania are well-represented too.
Women Racing Drivers: a Growing Population
1958 Maria De Filippis First woman to compete in an F1 Grand Prix (Monaco Grand Prix)
1981 Michele Mouton & co-driver Fabrizia Pons First women to win a world championship rally (Sanremo FIA World Rally Championship)
2009 Danica Patrick Best finish for a woman driver in the Indy 500 (3rd place)
Some of the world’s most famous competitions have featured women racing drivers. Several all-women teams have competed in Le Mans 24, the famous French 24 hour race.
Indy 500 53 race starts 7 top ten finishes
Formula 1 29 race starts 29 top ten finishes
NASCAR 1273 race starts 79 top ten finishes
Le Mans 24 129 race starts 7 top ten finishes
How to Find a Career in F1
It takes all sorts of people to run a successful F1 team. Hands-on roles usually require a background in engineering or science, but there’s also a huge range of opportunities for those with strong business acumen and a passion for motorsport.
Everything from engineering and software development to performance testing.
Example Job Role
Electronics Development Engineer
- Electrical Engineering Degree
- Electronic CAD, software development
- Design and development of electronic components systems, management of manufacturing process, testing
A range of highly skilled jobs, from precision machining to applying the stickers.
Example Job Role
- Machining/Engineering College Course
- Manual dexterity
- Inspection and verification of F1 car components
Attends every race, all over the world. Everything from technical set up to race analysis.
Example Job Role
Race Strategy Engineer
- Engineering, Mathematics, or Physics Degree
- Knowledge of C++ and C# programming languages
- Support of trackside events, numerical, and stastistical data analysis, research and development
The backbone of the championship campaign. Everything from IT, legal, marketing, and finance to HR.
Example Job Role
Hospitality & Events Manager
- Business and/or Marketing Qualification
- Acute attention to detail, communication, and time management
- Planning and daily management of guest hospitality and events
Inspirational Women in Motorsport
From engineers to designers, mechanics to team principals, more and more women are playing integral roles in the motorsport industry. Here are just a few of the inspirational women championing diversity in the sport.
Senior Strategy Engineer at Sauber F1 Team
Aerospace and Aerothermal Engineering, University of Cambridge
“It’s so important that we fight the archaic stereotype that women and motorsport ‘don’t go together’ to prevent misinformation and dogma prescribing a subset of career choices for girls.”
MSc, CEng, MIMechE
Doctoral Candidate and Motorsport Senior Engineer
Motorsport Engineering and Management, Cranfield Cambridge
When describing a campaign encouraging girls in Motorsport: “Offering girls, aged 8-11 yrs, a taste of Motorsport and karting but also, and equally important, of STEM subjects, nutrition, fitness, and communication, is so important.”
Motorsport Technician & Customer Support and Tuthill Porsche
Automotive Mechanics Technology, Oxford & Cherwell Valley College
“In 1995, I was watching the Network Q RAC rally with a group of friends. As Colin McRae flew past in his Subaru Impreza […] I said to my friends: I am going to do this for a job, I’m going to work on rally cars.”
Deputy Team Principal of Williams F1 Racing Team
Politics, Newcastle University
“My philosophy has always been to do and achieve that which people least expect from me and prove the doubters wrong – that’s the ultimate prize.”