D2BD Community Event; What I Learnt In 2 Short Hours.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure, along with many other of the D2BD community, of being able to listen to Rebecca Jackson, Lucy Taylor, Jennie Gow and Claire Banner speaking at the RAC in London and it say it was enlightening would be an understatement and I felt feeling so very empowered and positive about continuing with this blog.

They offered a lot of advice on not only how to break into the world of motor sports but also on how to deal with criticism, something they, as well as a lot of other females with an interest in motor sports, face day in/day out.

If I had a pound for every time ‘pester’ was said at yesterday’s Dare To Be Different event, I could afford a yacht in Monaco.

They all put themselves out there in their own way.

Rebecca Jackson started out with by pro bono writing and posting YouTube videos. She then went on to pursue her dream of being a racing driver and competing in Le Mans by starting ‘Project Le Mans’; a 5 year plan on how to get to Le Mans which included propositioning everyone at ASI14 to help her in any way possible.

Claire Banner took a HR job at a small motor sports team. Due the the size of the team, she explained, she was exposed to lots of different areas of the work from couriering car parts to general help. She then went on to study HR management at university and joined a union before becoming a union steward which allowed her to gain insight into both sides of that world.

Jennie Gow began her presenting career via unpaid work experience with the BBC where she made a lasting impression on many other employees with her willingness to do anything and everything asked of her, even if it meant telling a little white lie or two. Her knowledge and passion landed her a ‘real’ job with the BBC and ESPN. She stated that she will never be the most beautiful, will never have the most perfect hair and never have the ‘biggest boobies’ but knowledge is key and will set you apart.

Lucy Taylor studied geology, nothing big or fancy, but between her university years, she got summer work experience. After finishing university, she pestered labs for any opportunity.

Opportunities come to those who go out and find them. A nicer version of a common Geordie saying ‘shy bairns get nowt’.

All 4 women mutually agreed that they were ‘pains in the ass’ and constantly emailing, calling, sending letter to those who would be able to offer them an opportunity or point them in the direction they needed to go. Persistent pestering and ‘that’ unique spark is key.

Think of your qualities. How are you unique? And how do can you use that to your advantage?

Criticism was another big talking point. Something that I, like many others, face day in/day out in some way or another. Including when I got home from the event.

‘It’s a lot of money to spend for just the day. It’s not like you’re going to follow this as a career, you already have one. You’ve got to think rationally, Josie.’

To give you some background on this, I was not long qualified as a veterinary nurse, something I have been training for for the past 3 years.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore my job. I would have to to do the workload and hours I put into it but motor sports is a passion of mine that I can’t ignore. I love to write, I love to talk about it so why should I put it on a back burner?

My mam is supportive, she just doesn’t understand.

The only thing this criticism did was make me think ‘Why not?’

Why can’t I do my day job and improve my blog? Why can’t I see where it takes me?

Maybe nowhere, maybe doors will open. You don’t know unless you try.

That is something I learnt from the 4 remarkable women I listened and spoke to yesterday.

Each have faced their own criticism and doubt but they have overcome it or used it to fight to be the very best.

‘I’ll prove you wrong.’

I wrote down my qualities and experiences, what I had done that was special and what I had overcome. And, you know what, I felt so much better. What I had accomplished was incredible and what I can do is incredible.

The potential for all of us is there and, with the help of the D2BD community’s nurturing atmosphere, the chance for us, as women, to reach our goals in the motor sports world is even closer.

Do not give up.

Follow in the footsteps of other great women and be persistent. Pester. Pester. Pester!

For now, I’m signing off for an early night.




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