Whilst writing my essay on women in sports journalism I found that one of the main problems facing young girls in this society was a lack of role models. If this is a problem facing girls in all areas of sport think how low the number of female role models there are for girls in motorsport.
Whilst researching the paper it was announced that Susie Wolff would step down as test and reserve driver for Williams Martini Racing, a heart breaking moment for any girl interested in motorsport as she was the main source of inspiration for a lot of girls and women. However, with the announcement of her retirement came the news that a new initiative headed by Wolff would be launched – Dare To Be Different. This initiative would aim to inspire more girls to take part in all areas of motorsport and giving them the support they’d need to achieve in their chosen area. This sort of initiative has never been seen before in motorsport and hopefully, given time, it will bring a whole new generation of female talent to this male dominated arena.
The list of ambassadors is long: Claire Williams, Ruth Buscombe, Rachel Brookes, Alice Powell, Nathalie McGloin, Carole Brackley, Charlie Broughton, Victoria Guppy and Claire Morden. The women all come from different backgrounds in motorsport, some in engineering, some in journalism, some in medicine and some in racing to name a few backgrounds. With these women working along side Susie Wolff they aim to inspire and encourage girls to be different and go against expectations built by a past society.
By holding events around the country for young girls in all different areas of motorsport they are enabling girls to experience motorsport when they otherwise would wouldn’t be able to. For women trying to break through to the industry or studying at university they are holding network events as well as having forums to encourage discussion on their website.
This initiative could possibly be the best thing to have ever happened to motorsport and it’s all thanks to the tireless efforts of one woman. After waiting years to have your voice heard somewhere, anywhere by someone or anyone who would listen it is a blessing to now have somewhere for that voice to be heard. I always knew that I wasn’t the only woman trying to break through to the sport but in this male dominated world it can seem lonely and pointless, finally myself and all the other women, who once felt alone, now have a community to stand arm in arm with and show the motorsporting world – it’s a women’s job too.