Increased representation of women in Formula 1® is dependent on females already working in the sport, to be more visible and act as mentors for young girls following in their footsteps; that's the message from Natalie Pinkham and Krystina Emmanouilides on the latest episode of the In The Fast Lane podcast.
Pinkham, a British Sky Sports Formula 1® TV presenter who has worked in the sport for over a decade, and Emmanouilides, an Australian working a CFD engineer for the Alfa Romeo F1® Team ORLEN, joined the podcast ahead of International Women's Day, and detailed their very different journeys to arrive at the pinnacle of world motorsport.
Pinkham, who began in the sport as a pit lane reporter, feels women need to support one another and celebrate their successes to break down barriers in what has traditionally been a male-dominated domain.
"Women need to be a bit braver and say 'all these things that we've seen as a given, aren't," she said.
"Women need to see more women on screen in every single role. I was genuinely overwhelmed when I commentated FP1 in Bahrain last year and I had more comments than I'd had about anything ever, from men and women, because it was the first time a woman had commentated on a Formula 1 session."
Emmanouilides, who left her native Melbourne in her late teens to pursue a long-standing passion to work in F1®, is based in Alfa Romeo's Swiss headquarters and has taken an active role as an ambassador for the FIA Girls On Track program with Motorsport Australia, hoping her own experiences can show aspiring Australian women that F1® is an achievable goal.
"We speak about this 'see it and be it' concept, and when I was younger there wasn't even much information on how to get into F1, let alone other female engineers I had access to, to discuss their experiences in the sport," she said.
"For me, this is why I've started working with Motorsport Australia and the FIA Girls On Track program because I believe in exposing young girls to the industry and giving them a role model to now only show them the industry and the opportunities they have but show them that there are women here now that are thriving."
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