The FIA Women in Motorsport Commission has teamed up with Susie Wolff and Dare to be Different to pilot a new educational programme for females aged between 8 and 18 years old. The first ‘FIA Girls on Track – Dare to be Different’ event, which will be run at the Mexico City E-Prix, round four of the 2018/19 ABB FIA Formula E Championship on February 15/16, symbolises the collaboration of two successful existing programmes and aims to reach a much broader audience and highlight the numerous opportunities for women in motorsport.
“This is a really exciting collaboration and also demonstrates that when we have common goals and can join forces to realise our objectives, we have concrete opportunities to make a difference and further promote the place of females in motorsport, in all areas,” said Michele Mouton, President of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission. “We also want to showcase how the format of the event can be replicated by the FIA’s national sporting authorities in many different countries, which is really important to support the on-going and increased participation of young women in our sport worldwide.”
The FIA Girls on Track – Dare to be Different event aims to continue inspiring young women at grassroots level with enjoyable educational activities that provide a unique insight into what a potential career in the vibrant motor sport world can offer. Karting, a pit-stop challenge, media tutorials, practical STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities as well as fitness and well-being workshops are designed to engage and motivate young women and open their minds to the possibility of a career in the motorsport industry.
“We are very pleased to bring the FIA Girls on Track, which was launched last year with funding support of the European Commission, together with the Dare to be Different programme. The two initiatives are a natural fit, with both aiming to inspire and encourage more female participation by introducing girls to the huge number of potential opportunities for participation in motor sport. The event taking place in Mexico next weekend will showcase these programmes on the high-profile international platform of Formula E, and I hope this will be a strong first step towards setting a template that can be used by ASNs all around the world,” said FIA President Jean Todt.
“Dare to be Different was originally created as a call to action to the motorsport industry,” explained Susie Wolff. “From my own personal experience, I felt that unless we founded a grassroots initiative specifically designed to educate, inspire and encourage young female talent, nothing would change in the long term, doors needed to be opened. Michele Mouton and I have long been aligned when it comes to the need for parity in motor sport, so uniting with the FIA in this way makes absolute sense, we’re stronger together. The FIA continue to do great work when it comes to promoting women in motorsport and collaborating together in this way allows for us to have a truly global reach.”
Dare to be Different was launched by Susie Wolff, an Ambassador for the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, in 2016 with the aim of inspiring and connecting with young girls between 8-12 years of age. In 2018, the FIA, along with nine partners, launched its own European Young Women Programme – The Girls on Track Karting Challenge – which, with EU funding through the Erasmus+ programme, has enabled the Commission to implement a competition model for the promotion and development of 13-18 year old females in motor sport at grassroots level.