Pride Month is an opportunity for allyship, learning and action. But ensuring equality and equity goes beyond one month – we all have a role to play in raising awareness and driving diversity, equality and inclusion 365 days a year.
We brought together AMF1 Team Driver Ambassador Jessica Hawkins and Motorsport Culture Collective members Sean O'Neill and Jason Campbell to talk about diversity and inclusion in Formula One. The talk was hosted by Sky Sports F1 presenter and reporter Rachel Brookes, exploring topics such as LGBTQ+ inclusion and initiatives that companies can take to improve diversity and inclusion.
Jessica spoke about her own experiences as part of the LGBTQ+ community in motorsport, and gave her view on how we can make motorsport a more comfortable place for people from all backgrounds.
"Whilst it's a minority, there are people from all different backgrounds who've been working in Formula One," she said. "Maybe we need to see them more, we need to hear from them more, and perhaps [offer] an anonymous questionnaire or something [to find out] 'how do you feel?' If we hear from real people in real spaces, we're going to know more, and I think we can assess a lot more.
"Because if they don't feel safe it's probably very difficult for them to tell us. So it's really important to get real-life views from those working within the sport. We can then address the issues from there and start to make people feel more comfortable."
AMF1 Team and The Motorsport Culture Collective
All in. All welcome. All celebrated. In honour of Pride Month, AMF1 Team Driver Ambassador Jessica Hawkins sat down with The Motorsport Culture Collective to discuss the topic of inclusion in motorsport and explore how we can all join the drive to raise awareness and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.
Sean, founder of the Motoring Culture Club that includes the Motorsport Culture Collective, added that making people feel included is a long journey, and he explained what it takes to promote inclusion.
"When people feel like they can be included in something in an organic way, that they're not having to fit into a certain structure, they can be themselves, I think that's one of the key elements when you know that you've started to achieve progress. But as Jess said it's not something that you're going to do overnight," said Sean.
"So, in terms of measurable goals, there are different ways that companies can hold themselves accountable and that includes making it part of a performance metric for bonuses or compensation, having an actual target, to putting people in positions of authority to speak to these demographics that you're trying to reach and empower. Those are some general ideas that people can put in place."
Jason explained how barriers to entry need to be lessened for people of colour, using black Americans as an example of an under-represented group in motorsport – before adding the advantages that inclusion and equity can have for any business.
"I think when you look at the overall challenges, it's access, it's exposure, then it's barriers of entry. When you talk about internships, really exposing them to how to even connect with people who make decisions on whether they get full-time employment and things like that. So those are steps that I feel like need to take place, and then the last part is really subsidising opportunities for people of colour and particularly black kids to be able to engage in racing.
"Because what you'll find out is, if you don't know already, we're very intuitive, we'll catch on quickly, and we can be a part of this whole racing experience. And then lastly, you know, at the end of the day, if you look globally, black people, particularly black Americans, drive the culture when it comes to being cool. So it makes sense to have us under the tent and really be a part of the entire experience from beginning to end."
Watch the full thought-provoking discussion in the player above and scroll down to read more about how we Make A Mark wherever we race and drive for more when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
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