We're committed to making a positive impact on the track and off it. Our Make A Mark ESG programme sees us drive positive progress through the influence of our team and the sport in the places we live, work and race, and our sustainable, state-of-the-art new AMR Technology Campus provided a fitting venue to inspire young minds at our Make A Mark event ahead of the British Grand Prix.
We invited young people between the ages of 14-25 from schools and universities to the AMR Technology Campus for inspiring and informative workshops, talks and discussions – with the help of our Title Partner Cognizant and Global Partner Citi, plus the Motorsport Culture Collective, and with the aim of breaking down barriers for under-represented people in the technology industry.
Alongside our partners, team members including Driver Ambassador Jessica Hawkins, Group Chief Executive Officer of Aston Martin Performance Technologies Martin Whitmarsh, and Deputy Performance Director Eric Blandin and Chief Marketing Officer Rob Bloom, took to the stage to showcase the opportunities within STEM careers that Formula One and adjacent industries can provide.
Our Make A Mark event also saw us launch a new partnership with The Aleto Foundation, a leading charitable organisation dedicated to promoting social mobility among young people from underrepresented communities, with The Aleto Foundation CEO David Villa-Clarke in attendance and joining us on stage to provide invaluable career advice to the students in attendance.
Driving change by joining forces with Cognizant, Citi and The Aleto Foundation.
Our team members and partners share their insights about the world of technology and STEM careers by using Formula One and adjacent industries as an example.
“These kind of events really speak to what the team's about, by giving people the opportunity to come here, feel part of the team, and ultimately be with us on this amazing journey we're on as Aston Martin. Today we've got a super-special announcement… we officially announce the partnership between Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team and the Aleto Foundation," said AMF1 Team Chief Marketing Officer Rob Bloom.
David Villa-Clarke said: "We are delighted to form this partnership with Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team. By collaborating with companies that prioritise diversity and inclusion, we can collectively work towards breaking down barriers and providing equal opportunities for all individuals, regardless of their background."
"Aleto is committed to levelling up the playing field in society and by combining our joint expertise and resources, we can make a tangible impact in promoting social mobility and diversifying the motorsport industry. We look forward to developing our relationship with the AMF1 Team, who recognise the importance of inclusivity and diversity within the sport."
Martin Whitmarsh, Group CEO of Aston Martin Performance Technologies, added: "I think success is people believing that Formula One is a place where they're welcome. It is open to everyone, and we've got to demonstrate that; we want the best people in the world. The more diverse background of the people, the more creative we are, the more stimulated we are as an organisation."
AMF1 Team is pleased to announce a partnership with The Aleto Foundation to provide a bespoke leadership programme for 15 young ethnic minority students wanting to learn more about opportunities within motorsport and the world of Formula One.
Students from our partner schools Elizabeth Woodville School , Silverstone University Technical College, The Radcliffe School, and London Enterprise Academy gained an invaluable, unforgettable and inspiring experience thanks to our partners and our team members: four immersive workshops brought our young guests into the world of Formula One and related industries.
Cognizant Outreach Lead Midhusa Mohan delivered a session on working in technology and STEM, showing students the opportunities that lie within the technology sector and how technology can be used for good as Cognizant use tech to deliver improved social, economic and environmental outcomes.
We were joined by Amal Gomersall from the Citi EMEA Community Relations Team, who presented a session on STEM and technology careers within the financial industry and the importance of diversity. Amal highlighted the characteristics of a diverse workforce and the steps Citi and the Citi Foundation are taking to invest in young people and level the playing field in the UK.
AMF1 Team Aerodynamics Design Manager Matt Allnut and Aerodynamicist Eleanor Rajaratnam led a session on working in Formula One. Students got close-up to parts of the AMR23 while Matt and Eleanor explained their day-to-day roles at the team, how they work together to further the team, and what it takes to work in Formula One.
Furthermore, our Head of Recruitment and Talent Natasha Wilkinson joined Cognizant Talent Acquisition Marketing and Employer Branding Professional Hayfa Bukhari to deliver a career session to show the power of building a personal brand.
As an aerodynamicist, more or less 90 per cent of what you do is a failure – you learn a lot from that.
More than 70 students from Loughborough University, The Aleto Foundation, Coventry University , Queen Mary University and Westminster University attended our Make A Mark event, where we hosted three tailored workshops for the university students.
The Cognizant Outreach Team's session, focused on working in technology and STEM, outlining the opportunities that are available at companies such as Cognizant, where technology can be used to make a huge difference.
AMF1 Team Head of Electronics Charlie Blackwall, along with Junior Mechanical Design Engineer Michael Okeke, provided an illuminating insight into their roles with the team and their respective career journeys, while the final session saw Eric Blandin spoke passionately to students about his career and work as Deputy Technical Director at AMF1 Team.
"Failure is definitely part of the job. Even with previous experience, you can always have a bad race. Actually, bad races are a good way to learn. You do a lot more analysis after the race and you try to understand what happened… and you try to understand why, and that’s how we get better, and that is core not only for races, but also as an aerodynamicist, more or less 90 per cent of what you do is a failure – you learn a lot from that." said Eric.
Inclusion in the workplace
Everyone is welcome at AMF1 Team. Diversity of experience, thought and background, makes us stronger; and inclusivity and diversity are a key pillar of our constant push for performance. To underline this, the Motorsport Culture Collective (MCC) and Aleto Foundation joined AMF1 Team Driver Ambassador Jessica Hawkins to explore the opportunities that inclusion brings.
"I think the issue is that we don't have enough females at grassroots level getting into motorsport," said Jessica. "And of course, along the motorsport journey on the way up to Formula One, people drop out for many reasons, whether that be they've run out of funding or they're not interested anymore or not quite talented enough – for multiple reasons people drop out.
"By the law of averages we're not going to see any women at the top of motorsport so I think we need to address the issue by getting more women into karting at a young age so when women drop off the ladder, we're still going to see a woman at the top.
"We need more figureheads at the pinnacle of motorsport, we need to see more on the television, and by doing that young females will actually realise that’s something they’re able to get involved in and something they can see as a career. That doesn't just stand for F1 as well, there are so many other motorsport careers. Formula One is the pinnacle and what we’re passionate about but there are so many forms of motorsport as well."
Don't shy away and think you have to be somebody else and fit into a box; you're yourself and that's the value that you bring to everything that you do.
David Villa-Clarke, CEO of The Aleto Foundation CEO, and Emmanuel Ayoola, The Aleto Foundation Director of Fundraising, joined the discussion along with Jason Campbell and Sean O'Neill from MCC.
"There are a lot of people in the world who are going to look around and make an assumption about you based on stereotypes," said Sean. "And what you should do is say: 'This is what I want to do, I'm passionate about this'. Speak up for yourself, be yourself, because what you're also bringing to the table in your organisation is your personality, your passion, and your experience.
"That's what diversity and inclusion is about: bringing all those people together who have different experiences to create the best product for the company, to create the best and fastest car for the team. Don't shy away and think you have to be somebody else and fit into a box; you're yourself and that's the value that you bring to everything that you do."
David added: "But it also comes down to opportunity. How many people [in attendance] have been inside a Formula One factory before today? No one. It's a fantastic opportunity – an opportunity to ask questions, ask about future careers, ask about internships, and how people transitioned into being part of this organisation. Giving these young people this opportunity today will open doors for them."
We were proud to open the doors to our new home to inspire the next generation by illuminating pathways to STEM careers and showing how technology can make a tangible, positive difference in the world around us. Thank you to all the students and our partners who joined us at the AMR Technology Campus to make our 2023 Make A Mark Day one to remember.
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