While the issues of inclusion and diversity are more than ever present at the heart of the speeches and actions of institutions and teams in Formula 1, Alpine announced on Thursday the implementation of a program aimed at allowing greater inclusiveness. women in the world of motorsport and even the automobile in general.
Entitled Rac(H)er, a play on words with “racer” (competitor) and “her” (feminine pronoun in English), this program is intended, according to a press release, to “Building meritocracy across genders and across all areas of the business, from technical functions to racing and competing”this by developing “the skills and complementarity of the brand’s employees”.
It consists of five parts:
- internal awareness of inclusion issues across all of Alpine’s businesses;
- the determination of objective criteria to become a high-level racing driver, this component aimed at “Combat preconceived ideas, by financing and carrying out a scientific study which will analyze all the alleged pseudo-scientific obstacles (physical condition, mental) to the accession of women to F1 driving” and lead to “the establishment of a specific training program, with dedicated financial resources, and thus allow a female driver to access F1” ;
- the launch of a fund to support female talent in motorsport;
- the participation of Alpine members in meetings in schools “to improve the knowledge and interest of young girls in careers in racing and the automotive industry in general” ;
- the establishment of a longer-term ambassador program “by involving in this process of change all the stakeholders of sport and the automotive industry”.
Currently, according to Alpine, women represent 12% of its workforce (and even 10% within the F1 team) and the objective for the brand is to reach a figure of 30% within five years; concretely, this begins with the joint recruitment of interns and young graduates. But in the medium and long term, by investing in programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics that encourage women to follow a scientific and technical course, as well as the establishment of a program within the company to guide women in their career choices. Finally, the company’s managers will follow training programs to combat prejudice.
Regarding F1 more specifically, the program wants to try to train drivers capable of joining the very small contingent of women who have reached the queen discipline (six out of a total of 885 drivers). Noting that one of the problems is the fact that they are identified and therefore supported too late to be able to make a career, the Alpine Academy will try to identify as early as possible in karting young girls with high potential and who wish to access to Formula 1 by committing them to a complete program of racing, physical training or mental training.
“Significant resources will be allocated to the realization of this program to give female drivers the same chances of success as the greatest male champions trained by the Academy and thus move from karting to F4, then from regional championships to F3 and finally from F2 to F1”can we read in the press release. “The Rac(H)er program aims to involve all stakeholders in motorsport and the motor industry, starting with F1 and the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, as well as creating links with existing programs to meet the challenge of inclusion, like Girls on Track.”
Laurent Rossi, CEO of Alpine explains: “Our role as a Formula 1 team and a Renault Group brand is to commit to making our ecosystem more inclusive and to making diversity our strength. We are aware of the need for profound change in our sport and of the industry so that all talents can express themselves in the future. By launching Rac(H)er, a long-term transformation program, we hope to be joined by all the players in the field, because this n “It’s only by coming together that we can truly move forward. That’s where our real success will lie.”
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