The “glass ceiling” Enni Mälkonen is determined to break

As a successful WRC co-driver, Mälkonen wants to prove there is no upper limit to what women can achieve

Enni Mälkonen is a high-profile co-driver in the World Rally Championship, sitting alongside WRC2 frontunner Sami Pajari in their Toyota GR Yaris Rally2.

Mälkonen guided Pajari to the Junior WRC title in 2021 and was WRC3 champion co-driver a year later. The pair are keen to continue their success story by targeting the WRC2 title this year and, ultimately, go on to be outright world champions in the WRC.

Winning and proving what can be achieved through hard work and determination are what rallying is about for Mälkonen.

Finns are known to often be economical with their words. Enni herself was relatively quiet when she joined fellow co-drivers Janni Hussi and Reeta Hämäläinen on DirtFish’s SPIN, The Rally Pod last week, but her addiction to winning shone through.

When Hussi asked about their own driving aspirations – as opposed to co-driving – Mälkonen said: “I did five rallies, but it was [only] fun until the moment I saw the results.

“I was not that bad – I was not the last – but still, I wasn’t the first. So after five rallies I decided to stop… before I crash!”

Winning for her own satisfaction is not all that drives Mälkonen. She is also keen to be a role model for girls and young women – in sport in general, not just rallying – and to demonstrate that there is no upper limit for what women can achieve.

“I think my goal is also something bigger than winning the championship only for myself,” she explained on the podcast. “I hope that I can – or we all could – break this glass ceiling and show all those little girls around the world that they can be whatever they want and there’s no-one who can say what they could be or what they could not.”

Mälkonen has already done that by winning a world title – and she’s not finished yet.