Why rallying will never just be for boys

Women's Month coordinator Josie Rimmer shares a powerful message on International Women's Day


Rallying is not just for boys. It never has been. Legends like Michèle Mouton and Fabrizia Pons (and countless others) have been paving the way for women in motorsport for a generation.

Today, on Tuesday March 8, the world is celebrating International Women’s Day but we decided that one day simply wasn’t enough.

“International Women’s Day is a fantastic opportunity for women across the world to come together,” said DirtFish writer Josie Rimmer.

“But I wanted to do more. I wanted to hold a class in the School for women only, I wanted women to dominate the website for the week. I wanted to do more.”

And more became more. Josie discussed her idea with DirtFish Rally School CEO Justin Simpson and he supported an all-women day and more content on the website.

Within weeks, Josie had sold four all-women days and timetabled content for the website every day. A day had become a week; a week had become a month.

DirtFish Women’s Month was born.

“Motorsport is dominated by men, but what we forget is there are women doing the exact same driving as men are, and often at times we just don’t get to see it,” said Rimmer.

“So that’s part of why this Women’s Month is so important. We want to put the women who have been doing this, who have been training, who’ve sacrificed, who’ve done just as much work as any of the men that we see in the headlines every day. We want to raise up the community of women who’re already doing this work, and we want to show young girls that there’s a place for them in the motorsport community.

“Women don’t end up competing as much in rally because we’re afraid of supporting the narrative that already exists surrounding women in rallying – women in motorsport in general really.

“But there’s this collective fear from many women, including myself before I raced for my first time, of being the thing that confirms the stereotypical belief that women are bad drivers, that women are not fast.

It's our job to dismantle the belief that women are somehow inherently inferior to their male rally counterparts Josie Rimmer

“So an entire community of young women has taken on that stereotype and that narrative in their own minds and used it as a very fair reason to be afraid to show up in these male-dominated spaces, to be afraid to perform and to put themselves out there. But the truth is it doesn’t matter who you are: when you show up at your first race, it’s most likely going to be mess!

“That’s what we need to dismantle, the belief that you need to be good the moment you show up and not leave room for learning or improvement or training. The hard part is finding someone that has that passion, and if you are someone who has that passion – no matter who you are, what gender, where you were born, where you come from – if you have that drive, there is a space for you in the motorsport community.

“And it’s our job to dismantle the belief that women are somehow inherently inferior to their male rally counterparts.”

International Women’s Day is one of the most important days of the year, but it’s that bit extra important this year for all of us at DirtFish as we strive to highlight everything that women are doing across all areas of motorsport from all corners of the globe.

And just remember, you can do it too.