‘I was persistent’ – A phrase mentioned many a time during the weekend of ASI17.
To be a women in motor sports takes great courage, patience and determination. Predominantly, the women you will see at races will be clad in Lycra, standing on a grid with a mega watt smile on their face or clapping as a driver runs past to the cool down room.
The mire mention of a love of racing/cars will cause many a male to respond with a comment about ‘modelling’ *or that is what I have personally experienced*. I’m not one for taking comments I dislike lying down as I kindly demonstrated with this poor, unsuspecting male who made the mistake of insinuating I was only going to look pretty near cars and ON MY BIRTHDAY TOO!
Dare To Be Different is opening doors for females everywhere. The aim is to change the motoring world, to destroy the stereotype that motorsports is a man’s world.
As D2BD is in its infancy, there is a lot of growing to do but the community is already expanding drastically. It isn’t just for those wanting to pursue a career as a racer or as a journalist, it’s also to connect women with an interest in motorsports together, creating a network of support.
After speaking to Ruth Buscombe, race strategist for Sauber F1, it became evident that determination was key to breaking into the motorsports industry but there is still a lot of room for growth and improvement with only a handful of women being involved in the technical side of F1.
It is outstanding to see and hear how determined women like Ruth and Tatiana Calderon (2016 GP3 driver for Arden) are to reaching their goals. Many would have given up after a few set backs, not wanting to put up with the remarks but not these women! Some would say hard headed, I say bloody fantastic!
As a young child, I never once believed that I could be part of formula 1 because the only women I saw involved in it were holding sides on the grid. I truly believed that that was the only job a women could have in that industry *monkey see/monkey do to a 6 year old*. I am persistent but I was never one for approaching someone even if it was my dream. I was passive, verging on cowardly with my dreams so F1 became a simple weekend hobby that I would watch from afar.
The inspiring women involved in D2BD are testimony to what a dream can achieve and, with their help, little girls are able to see that they can be part of that world without just being eye candy. They are being shown and taught that women have just as much as a right to be in the paddocks; be it racing, pit crew, strategy, journalism, WHATEVER JOB!
Dare To Be Different events give girls the chance to experience the different elements of the racing world; technical, physical, actual racing side as well as allowing them to speak to various other members from many walks of life. The taster sessions at these events open up their minds to what they could be and shows them a completely different career path that maybe they hadn’t considered originally.
It will be several years before we see the impact D2BD has had on the industry as more females become aware of it and filter through from primary and secondary school.
I, personally, have met 2 of my closest friends via motorsports (when your parents say don’t talk to strangers online, they don’t take into account that you may meet some of the most amazing people that way). I bonded over a love of Formula one with two ladies I would now class as my best friends, Milly and Kate.
I encourage all ladies who are interested in a career or just have a general passion for motorsports to get involved!
For more information on ambassadors, events and joining up. Visit daretobedifferent.org