Mission 44 hails significant progress on increasing diversity and representation in motorsport

Key ground made in collaboration, education, and access and progression to STEM careers.
  • Particular improvement seen in driving diversity in education
  • Girls on Track and Race for Diversity programme has reached 2,254 young people in 12 months

Mission 44, the dedicated charitable foundation set up by Lewis Hamilton, has hailed significant progress over the last two years in its goal of increasing diversity and representation in motorsport.

Established following The Hamilton Commission’s report into issue, Mission 44 says particular ground has been won in tackling and preventing the formation of barriers in motorsport's education pathway, as well as improving access and progression for those from diverse backgrounds to careers in STEM areas.

This, according to Mission 44, has come through increased collaboration with relevant stakeholders in key areas. For example, there has been a significant increase in scholarship and apprenticeship opportunities in motorsport as a result of Mission 44’s partnership with Teach First to increase the number of Black STEM teachers. At the elite level, Formula One, its teams, and the UK's Royal Academy of Engineering are now working to the F1 Diversity Equity and Inclusion Charter, in a bid to help monitor the progress of diversity in the sport.

“Every young person has potential, but for too long, those from underserved backgrounds have not seen themselves represented in Formula One, motorsport or the wider STEM industry,” said Jason Arthur, chief executive of Mission 44.

“The publication of the Hamilton Commission was a historic moment, providing an opportunity to create change. From the classroom to the circuit, I’m incredibly proud of the work Mission 44 has done to increase diversity and inclusion, opening doors for young people to thrive.”

Notably, Motorsport UK Girls on Track and Race for Diversity programme has reached 2,254 young people over the last 12 months.

Plus, the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers UK (AFBE-UK), with support from Mission 44, is expanding its programmes with the aim of increasing the number of ethnic minority young people pursuing careers in engineering motorsport careers.

One team that has been doing significant work in this department is Aston Martin, who have provided a bespoke leadership programme for 15 young people from ethnic minority groups to learn about opportunities in motorsport and Formula One, in partnership with The Aleto Foundation. The team also hosted a Make a Mark Day at their new technology campus for 150 students.

Mission 44 has placed a considerable focus on education, partnering with Sky to launch the Preventing Exclusions Fund, which looks to tackle school exclusions and support vulnerable learners from Black and Caribbean communities. The foundation is also working with Gender Action to address gender stereotypes that prevent girls from ethnic minority and low-income backgrounds from pursuing STEM careers.

While there there has been progress, Formula One acknowledges in its response to Mission 44's update that there is still much more work to be done.

‘A more inclusive and diverse motorsport sector will not happen overnight,' read the statement. 'Whilst Mission 44 will continue its commitment to invest in the recommendations, it will take stakeholders from across the industry to continue to join forces to create long term systemic change.’

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