When Josie [Rimmer, Women’s Month co-ordinator] came to me and asked me to be involved in DirtFish’s Women’s Month, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. How could I?
It’s through initiatives like this that we will bring more women and more young girls into this great sport of ours. I’m asked a lot of times why it’s so long since we have another woman winning in the World Rally Championship?
Another question is why is there no woman competing in Formula 1?
For me the answer is simple: look to the pyramid of progression for women competing in motorsport, the base is too small. It’s really narrow when you compare it with the men’s pyramid. And, for sure, we know that to have quality you need to have quantity – that’s what we’re still missing for women in motorsport. But it’s definitely getting better.
I feel immensely proud of what we have collectively achieved over the past 12 years with the FIA Women In Motorsport Commission – especially that our voice has been and continues to be recognized and supported by some of the sport’s most influential stakeholders.
We have been able to make a real difference. It’s how we see Ferrari and the FIA working for the Girls on Track Rising Stars scheme to bring the next generation of driver like Maya Weug, or the FIA’s Rally Stars bringing more girls in. We have come such a long way.
But still, we have further to travel. That is the reason why DirtFish Women’s Month and the Women in Motorsport Summit in Seattle (March 10) are so important.
Motorsport isn’t a natural sport for parents to push their children in, if they don’t have a big interest themselves; we are still niche, quite a small sport. So if we want youngsters to compete then we have to wake them up and get them involved. It’s even more like this for the women, which is why we have to take all of the opportunity to show them a sport which offers adrenalin like no other.
I’m really happy to see the plans DirtFish has for this month of March. Every year, International Women’s Day comes along and we all mark it and we remember it – but for Josie and her team to extend that to a whole month is really a fantastic message and a great way to communicate with more women.
Like you can imagine, I was very, very happy to see the School’s all-women classes being taken straight away. And the Summit will bring women like Rhianon [Gelsomino], Sara [Price] and Molly Taylor from all different areas of the sport – they can all talk about their experience and then offer help to the new people coming to the sport. To have the chance to talk to women at this high level in sport is something so important.
And I would love to be there at the Summit, but I’m busy with my new job for this month.
I’m guest editor for DirtFish. When I was offered this position, I was a little bit worried – I have seen the journalists all working hard and typing so many words and stories. I wasn’t sure for this.
But then I understood that my input to the website is to guide the stories and help with my own experiences. This, I love to do.
There are so many stories out there of incredible women. Women like my forerunner Pat Moss-Carlsson, but also for Maya [Weug] as the future.
But the best thing about this month is that we know, by the time we get to the end of it, we will have encouraged more women in motorsport. That is where my passion is right now.
Thank you Josie and thank you DirtFish for the chance to join you on this journey through March.
And to you, the readers, I hope you enjoy our work!