Aston Martin F1, in partnership with Racing Pride, an innovative international movement working to positively promote LGBTQ+ inclusion throughout motorsport, is educating and building awareness among its people, partners and fans on the importance of allyship in motorsport and the LGBTQ+ community.
In an effort to promote diversity, equality and inclusion within the industry, we were joined by Racing Pride Co-Founder Richard Morris, as well as colleagues from Aston Martin Lagonda at Aston Martin’s Gaydon HQ for a thought-provoking discussion around the topic.
Richard chaired the roundtable discussion that included AMF1’s Chief People Officer Heath Cade; DE&I Lead Bryanna Harding; Chief of Guest Services & Hospitality Laura Bradley; and Chief Marketing Officer Rob Bloom.
They were also joined by Aston Martin’s Director of Global Motorsports Marketing & Events Karin Fink; Chief People Officer Simon Smith; Chief Operating Officer Michael Straughan; and Chair of the Aston Martin Inclusion Network Marcus Ludlow.
The group discussed the importance of role models, both personal and professional, and their experience working within the industry.
"Starting the conversation is the most important thing," said Marcus Ludlow.
The Importance of Allyship
Richard Morris, Co-Founder of Racing Pride, sat down to speak to employees from AMF1 and Aston Martin Lagonda to talk about diversity and allyship this Pride Month.
"When I started at Aston Martin seven years ago, [LGBTQ+ and diversity] was something that was never really discussed. I wasn't aware of anyone, especially towards the top of the business, that was openly an ally, or part of the community. So, starting these conversations is just such an important point."
For businesses, allyship is a continuous process of improvement. Adopting positive and inclusive policies, embracing allyship and supporting LGBTQ+ colleagues make the workplace a safer and more welcoming space.
"It's critical that, as leaders of the business, we help set an inclusive culture," said Heath Cade.
"It’s really important that we do walk the talk, and we live and breathe our values of an open culture."
Richard also spoke to Bryanna about how Racing Pride has worked with AMF1 over the past 18 months to bring awareness to LGBTQ+ issues within motorsport.
"Internally, we sit there and think, 'What do we need to do? Where are our gaps? And where do we need to fill those?'" said Bryanna.
"Then we see how we can call on Racing Pride to help us. Together, we set up internal diversity policies from scratch, including a transgender-specific policy, which is really incredible."
Laura Bradley shared how she hears her daughter talking about Pride and diversity being taught in schools and what a change that is from education systems in the past.
"The educational system is accepting of different cultures, different beliefs, different communities. So, in the workplace, it's kind of getting there, but not to that level that we're all hoping – that will take time."
The roundtable discussion also highlighted how diversity, equality and inclusion is essential if businesses are to realise their full potential and benefit from being able to attract and retain the best talent, creating a positive and productive culture, better employee welfare and more LGBTQ+ role models and allies in positions of leadership.
At AMF1, we’re committed to ensuring that our people and fans are respected, empowered and valued as we climb together.
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