As part of our Make A Mark ESG programme, we're committed to driving positive change in the communities where we live, work, and race. In Austin, we hosted two major events ahead of the 2023 United States Grand Prix.
At the University of Texas, we brought together partners including Cognizant, Juniper Networks and the Motorsport Culture Collective (MCC) to discuss the business of Formula One and how we can improve inclusion in our industry and adjacent industries.
We also teamed up with our Title Partner Cognizant to give local female students an opportunity to hear about careers in motorsport and technology through Girlstart, a non-profit STEM education programme that inspires girls to transform the world.
Sparking conversation at the University of Texas
Our educational outreach programme has seen more than 400 undergraduates learn more about career opportunities in Formula One® and adjacent sectors. From welcoming Florida Memorial University students trackside to learn about the different technical roles in F1 to panel discussions with team members on how the business and engineering of F1 intersect and affect the world around us at McGill University , we brought our Make A Mark Conversation series to the University of Texas campus in the build-up to the United States Grand Prix.
This event was delivered in partnership with the MCC, which creates accessible pathways to motorsport for BIPOC communities through arts, entertainment and education.
Attendees from the University of Texas and Texas Southern University were invited to take part in the keynote discussion: How can Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team inspire, empower, and open up technology and STEM for black and underserved communities? This panel included MCC's Sean O'Neill and Jason Campbell alongside The Aleto Foundation CEO David Villa-Clarke.
"It's been a great day at the University of Texas and I think a lot of students have left inspired and motivated to carve out their careers," said our river Ambassador Jessica Hawkins.
Kelton Davis, a University of Texas Student majoring in Biology, said: "Some of my key takeaways from the event are that diversity, equity and inclusion is extremely important for Formula One and your team, and that it's important to be yourself: make yourself readily available to adapt and jump in headfirst at opportunities, because you never know when they're going to come."
Furthermore, attendees also watched panel discussions covering the evolution of the business of sport and the steps to achieving equality, inclusion and diversity in motorsport, Formula One, and adjacent industries.
Representatives from MCC and The Aleto Foundation's CEO David Villa-Clarke were joined by Juniper Networks' Chief Information Security Officer Drew Simonis, Chief People Officer Heath Cade, Cognizant's VP and Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Shameka Young, Driver Ambassador Jessica Hawkins, our Team Chief Marketing Officer Rob Bloom, and Formula One Head of ESG Ellen Jones.
Reflecting on the illuminating discussion, Costanza Blanco, a Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Texas, said: "The speakers talked about how we could push our way through motorsport and the technology industry and it was so cool, so inspiring. I love how this team reaches out to its fans and opens up doors.
"We all feel so welcomed by the team. I loved the experience. Thank you so much to the team for coming to UT Austin."
Demystifying STEM careers with Girlstart
We continue to take positive steps to promote diversity, equality and inclusion across every facet of our team. This year, we celebrated International Women in Engineering Day by bringing together female professionals across motorsport and engineering to speak about the importance of diversity.
Furthermore, we joined Aston Martin Lagonda and numerous partners to celebrate International Women's Day.
Ahead of the United States Grand Prix, we returned to Girlstart – having hosted an event there last year. This year, together with our Title Partner Cognizant, 40 guests joined us for another insightful and interactive evening exploring motorsport and technology.
By sharing insights on non-traditional paths into tech careers, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, we demystified STEM careers and created a safe space for conversations about education paths and career guidance.
"It's really important that we do this kind of work to try and inspire the younger generation and give them something to look up to and give them the kind of ideas that could forge potential career paths for them. It's been a great afternoon," said Jessica Hawkins.
Abby Mack, a local student who attended the event, added: "I'm a high school student in a robotics programme and I'm pretty interested in engineering and computer science. The event that they put on today was really fun, and it was great for me to hear from different people about their experience and how their jobs relate to tech and the amazing things they've done."
Furthermore, we communicated the importance of resilience, how to be aware of assumptions in the workplace, and how essential it can be to listen to people's stories and acknowledge their diverse backgrounds.
Tobi Young, Chief Regulatory and Corporate Affairs Officer, Cognizant said: "It was so much fun introducing Jessica to these young women. You really can be anything in this day and age, and I think Jessica embodied that.
"The lesson I took away from today was: be ready. Be ready for your moment. Train. Work hard. Be curious, and raise your hand when called. I think that's a lesson we can all learn from and think about.
"It was great to meet these young women, hear their questions, and see their curiosity."
AMF1 Team Revisits Girlstart in Austin with Cognizant
Ahead of this year's United States Grand Prix, we revisited Girlstart in Austin together with Cognizant’s Outreach Programme to speak to Girlstart alumni and inspire them to embark on journeys to transform the world through STEM.
Together with Cognizant, Juniper Networks and MCC, we made a mark in Austin and brought F1 beyond the racetrack stateside to inspire students to pursue careers in motorsport, while engaging in discussions about how to effect positive change in the sport, our team and the world around us as we continue our Make A Mark ESG journey.
Learn more about how we're driving positive progress through the influence of our team and our sport with Make A Mark.
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