I was interested to see that the FIA’s new Women in Motorsport commission has met for the first time, under the presidency of former rally star Michele Mouton.
This is just the way things have evolved over the years and it has led to a pretty low representation of women participating, partly because the federation hasn’t taken an active role at looking at ways of improving things. Now that has changed.
“Like many international federations, we will support, promote and help advance the participation of women in motor sport to ensure equal opportunities at all levels,’” said Todt in his statement today.
But it’s not just about finding women to race at the highest levels, it’s about encouraging women to engage at all levels in all roles. Many women work today in F1, as engineers and tyre technicians as well as in the more traditional roles of hospitality, pr and promotion. The paddock is not a male dominated environment any more, hasn’t been for the last ten years. Sauber is trying out a female team manager for the second time in its history and there are some very senior women in Bernie Ecclestone’s FOM organisation.
“The WMC aims to put in place strategies and policies that will promote education and training, and put into practice actions and events that will strengthen the participation of women in all areas of motor sport,” said the FIA.
It is common for young girls to be very competitive in karting but then the difficulty of finding funding and being taken seriously as they work their way up the ladder means a significant drop off in numbers. Who’s to say that the sport hasn’t lost a potential Vettel in the last five years?
It will be very interesting to see what progress this commission makes and how long it is before a woman driver makes it into F1. It cannot come soon enough.