PROFESSION: Formerly F1 Test Driver for Williams MARTINI Racing, Founder of #D2BD
Susie Wolff made history in July 2014 when she became the first female in 22 years drive on a Grand Prix Weekend, having joined Williams F1 team in 2012.
A fierce athlete, Susie has challenged perceptions in a male-dominated sport over the last three years. She was featured in Harper’s Bazar November 2015 Daring Issue which celebrated the most exciting women of 2015 and those who have dared to be different. On 4th November 2015 she retired from active motorsports and founded the initiative Dare To Be Different together with the MSA.
“I believe we are defined by our strengths and characteristics in life, not gender. I found my passion early in life and had a dream to make it to F1. I was never on a crusade to show what a woman could achieve. I was simply on a crusade to be the best racing driver I could be. Now, I want to inspire the next generation and showcase the successful women in motorsport so they can become role models. Motorsport isn’t a male dominated environment anymore, I dare to be different and I want to inspire others to do the same“
PROFESSION: Deputy Team Principal of Williams F1 Racing Team
“I had no option but to dare to be different really! Sometimes life throws you a curve ball, or in my case an amazing opportunity to lead a world renowned racing team, and I had no hesitation whatsoever. Who cares whether I’m the boss’ daughter, or a girl? I have to do what I have to do and that is turn this team around, and I enjoy it immeasurably.
Being different just makes any ensuing accomplishments more satisfying. My philosophy has always been to do and achieve that which people least expect from me and prove the doubters wrong – that’s the ultimate prize.”
My Life in Six Words: Hectic, but what an amazing privilege.
PROFESSION: Sky Sports News and Sky Sports F1 presenter
Rachel is a broadcast journalist for television, radio and online programming.
She began her career by winning a search for a DJ competition on KISS in London. After a successful career in radio she transferred her skills to TV and now works for Sky Sports as a Formula One and Cricket Specialist.
Quote: “I always dared to be different and I am proud that I became the first woman to present live Cricket updates from the boundary edge, and to host the Post Race FIA Formula…”
PROFESSION: Senior Strategy Engineer at Sauber
Ruth works as Senior Strategy Engineer at Sauber F1 and is undoubtedly a leading talent in her field and someone who will inspire the next generation of female motor sport talent.
Ruth has worked as a Race Strategist at Haas and Ferrari over the last few years and joins a growing number of high profile women who are supporting Dare To Be Different. She will stand alongside founder Susie Wolff and fellow ambassadors Claire Williams, Rachel Brookes and Alice Powell to showcase the wide variety of opportunities available to women in our sport.
Quote: “It’s a privilege to be an Ambassador for Dare to be Different. It’s so important that we fight the archaic stereotype that women and motor sport “don’t go together” to prevent misinformation and dogma prescribing a subset of career choices for girls. I’m proud to be a part of an initiative that will showcase the fantastic opportunities available within Motorsport; where what counts is what you can do- not what gender you are.”
PROFESSION: Racing Driver
Tatiana was born in Colombia in 1993. Her competitiveness led her into the sports world trying soccer, tennis and horse riding amongst other sports. However she didn’t find her true passion until she drove a go kart for the first time. She started racing at the age of 9, when she was finally able to convince her parents to buy her a racing kart. Since then her life has been surrounded by engines. With the unconditional support from her family, Tatiana embarked on a career even before finishing school. She was national champion in karting and years later, in touring cars. Her wins allowed her to take a step forward and she started to compete abroad, becoming the first ever female Champion in the Stars of Karting East division in de EEUU. After racing in Europe and representing Colombia in three World championships, Tatiana decided to compete in single seaters. Her first steps were in the Star Mazda, two levels below the Indy Car Series and it didn’t take long for her to step onto the podium, finishing 6th in the championship in her second year.
She returned to Europe to race in Formula 3 among other different championships including the Euroformula Open, FIA F3 and the British F3, where she became the first woman on the podium in the international class.
In 2016 she moved closer to the pinnacle of motorsport competing in the GP3 Series becoming the most successful woman in the Series finishing in the top 10 on three occasions.
Today her dream is closer then ever before, as she joins Sauber F1 Team as a development driver.
Quote: “It’s an honor to be named as a Dare to be Different Ambassador. I want to be able to share my experiences to help the next generation. Motorsport is one of the only sports where we can compete on equal terms against men and I’m really glad to be part of an organization that promotes, inspires and connects those who have found their passion in the sport. There are no barriers, life is about chasing your dreams. “
PROFESSION: Racing Driver
Alice started karting when she was eight years old and has been a motorsport fan all her life. At 23 years old, she has had a host of standout career highlights, which include becoming the first ever female to win a Formula Renault Championship, by winning the Formula Renault BARC Championship.
She was the first female to get in the points in the GP3 Series and in 2014, she was Champion in the Formula Renault Asia Championship.
Alice is a well-known driver coach in motorsport and helps up and coming young female drivers (and male!!). Alice will be supporting and helping to develop young female talent in karting within her role as a Dare to be Different Ambassador.
Quote: “Motorsport is a male dominated sport and I have witnessed girls turn away from it because of this. I would have not had the most incredible experiences if I did not dare to be different. I always believe that you should aim high and always try and better yourself. Sometimes to do that, you need to be different.”
PROFESSION: Club Racer
Nathalie only started racing in May of 2015 but her story is fairly unique. Nathalie is completely paralysed from the chest down having broken her neck in a car crash when she was 16. She is the first female with a spinal injury in the UK to be granted her race licence and the first female quadriplegic to go racing in the world. Nathalie is not shy of entering into male dominated sporting areas, in fact she revels in it!
Quote: “I caught the racing bug at 23 when I bought my first 911 and I’ve been tracking cars ever since. I have always dared to be different with male dominated sports but last year I needed a new challenge and racing was it! It was a difficult journey to get my race licence but I’m a strong believer that if you want something badly enough, you’ll find a way to achieve it.”
PROFESSION: Specialist Race Marshal
I’ve always loved motorsport, and after my stint as a 2012 Olympic Ambassador, I looked to fill the gap left in my life. I had frequently thought about marshalling, but thought that it was very difficult to get into, and approaching my 60th birthday (now or never!) thought I may be considered too old.
I’d recently retired from my job in Defence Diplomacy, living and working in the Caribbean, so had plenty of free time. Rather than settling down to the more traditional retirement pastimes, I decided to definitely dare to be different, and found a wonderful new life, meeting people from around the world, joining a whole new family.
Quote: “I Dared to be Different…by seeing retirement as the start of a brand new life in the male-dominated motorsport world, and it’s taken me on a journey I could never have dreamed possible.”
After deciding that motorsport was the career she wanted, she gave up her job and moved away from home to work for a small independent team running a car in one of the BTCC support races. It allowed her to learn many different aspects of working in a race team and gave her on the job mechanical training. This then led to a full time job in the BTCC, followed by eight years working for Prodrive with the Subaru World Rally Team.
Although now working full-time at Tuthill Porsche, in 2010 she returned to the BTCC as event technician and spent five years with Triple Eight, winning the independents trophy in 2011 and the manufacturers title in 2014 for MG. In 2015, she joined Power Maxed Racing in the same role, and continues with them for the 2017 season with the new Vauxhall BTCC programme.
Quote: “In 1995 I was watching the Donington Park stage of the Network Q RAC rally with a group of friends. As Colin McRae flew past in his Subaru Impreza, I remember thinking, this is what I want to do. I said to my friends: I am going to do this for a job, I’m going to work on rally cars.”
PROFESSION: Systems Engineer
I have been working as a Trackside Systems Engineer with a Formula 1 Team. It is hard to believe that 7 years ago, i was watching Formula 1 on TV and wishing that i could be there. I had no experience in Engineering or with cars and decided at 20 years old to make a huge career change from my insurance office job and went back to college to do a Diploma in Motorsport. This enabled me to enrol on an Engineering degree which i finished last year and following my work experience in Formula 3 and British Touring Car as a Data Engineer, managed to get the job I have now and i haven’t looked back since.
If I was to give advice to anyone looking to get in the industry it would be to get work experience. Get in contact with teams and ask to work for free. Experience and contacts in Motorsport and Engineering is invaluable! It has certainly got me to where i am now. Start at the bottom and work hard to work your way up.
Being a female in Motorsport isn’t easy. When i first heard about the Dare to be Different initiative i was so excited to be apart of it, this is exactly what the industry needs to raise awareness that it is possible for females to reach their goals in such male dominated professions.
There are also some serious misconceptions that need to be addressed, not just within the profession but on a wider scale and D2BD is just what is needed. Let’s give girls young and old the confidence and support to achieve what they want to achieve. Its never too late to work towards your dream. But let’s also address the problem – why do females need to be more confident and assertive than their male counter parts to get where they want to be? Why do they need to prove themselves more? By addressing both, we can help create changes in thinking that would lead to the stereotypes experienced today being eradicated.
Quote: “Why have I dared to be different? My mother brought me up on her own, so I have always had the ethos that a female can do anything a male could. I’ve never seen myself as different, just going through life the way I want to, and not letting what other people think, get in my way.”
PROFESSION: Chief Medical Officer
Her day job is being a doctor, however at the weekends she is able to combine her love of motor racing and medicine by working as a medical officer at circuits all over the UK.
She always had a keen interest in motorsport and was introduced to it by her parents when she was young, as they both used to be marshals around the country in the 1960’s. Many a weekend was spent watching Formula One and ultimately she dreamt of being able to pursue her ideal of being a doctor at motor racing.
She went to Medical School in Prague in the Czech Republic and graduated in 2007. Since then she has continued her training in the South of England in Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, challenging but ultimately rewarding specialties.
She got involved in motorsport medicine shortly after graduation through a chance discussion with a colleague who kindly let her tag along. Since then she has continued her development in this field and work as Chief Medical Officer at Brands Hatch, along with weekends at Silverstone, Thruxton, Goodwood, CarFest and the Race of Champions.
Quote: “I dared to be different as I combine my passion for motorsport and vocation of medicine in a role traditionally male dominated, and I love every second of it!”
DR KATHRYN RICHARDS
PROFESSION: Wind Tunnel Test Technician at MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team
I first became interested in Formula 1 back in the early 1990’s but at that time I wanted to be an airline pilot. During my early years at college studying aerodynamics I discovered that you could put a Formula 1 car in a wind tunnel. My fate was sealed. I went on the complete a degree in Aerospace Engineering and obtained a PhD in Vehicle Aerodynamics. After this I worked Northern Germany for a few years at the University of Hamburg looking at wind flow around heated buildings. Although in a different discipline, namely environmental aerodynamics, it was an invaluable experience working in different wind tunnel and it gave me huge confidence and self-belief. On my return I took up my current position and have never looked back.
I have been with the team nearly 12 years and have been privileged enough to have won four World Championships in that time; once when the team was Brawn GP in 2009 and three times as the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team, 2014, 2015 and 2016. It is something very special to be a part of such success and to know that through your hard work you have made a contribution to that success.
For the majority of my studies and working life I have been in a male-dominated environment. At times I have found it challenging and a struggle but always knew my end goal and that if I worked hard enough, with enough passion I would get there in the end, and now I am lucky enough to say that I have my dream job.
Quote: “I dare to be different because I see going to work as an absolute pleasure and privilege and not a chore. I love my job and want to share my experiences with the younger generation.”
PROFESSION: Television presenter and journalist
Louise Goodman is an award-winning television presenter and journalist with over 20 years of motorsport and media experience. She began her working life in the sport as a Press Officer and was Head of Communications for the Jordan GP team before making her TV debut in 1997.
Louise became the first female face of F1 in the UK when she joined luminaries Murray Walker and Martin Brundle as part of ITV’s Grand Prix presentation team.
She was the first woman ever to take part in an F1 pit-stop at the 2006 British GP and has also competed in numerous rallies and races. Louise is currently co-presenting ITV’s live coverage of the British Touring Car Championship alongside running her own media training company.
Quote: “You could virtually count the number of women working in the F1 paddock on the fingers of one hand when I first started out in the sport. Thankfully that’s changed a lot over the years but the myth that ‘motorsport is for boys’ still pervades. I love that D2BD is working to dispel that myth and helping people to see the brilliant and wide-ranging opportunities that are available for girls in our sport.”
PROFESSION: Motorsport consultant and PHD Researcher
Cristiana has over 20 years’ experience in Motorsport. She graduated in engineering at Universita’ degli Studi in Bologna, Italy, and completed an MSc in Motorsport Engineering and Management at Cranfield University, where she currently sits on the advisory board.
Cristiana has worked as a scrutineer, technical assistant, technical delegate and performance engineer. Cristiana was the first woman to work trackside alongside the FIA technical department in F1 as data analysist (2004-2009). From 2009 to 2015 she worked as a Research Consultant position for the FIA Institute for Motorsport Sustainability and Safety.
In 2012 Cristiana focused on technology transfer and innovation, joining Williams Advanced Engineering. During those years at Williams she worked closely with the F1 management Team, winning multimillion pounds projects including the supply of batteries to the FIA Formula E Championship.
In 2015 Cristiana started a PhD in Business and Strategic Management at Coventry University, exploring disruptive technologies in Motorsport. In 2016 she acted as senior research consultant for the FIA Safety Department. She led the writing of the short to medium term roadmap for the deployment of safety device into motorsport.
Cristiana was appointed member of Club di Londra in 2010, a club affiliate to the Italian Chamber of commerce in London. She is a STEMNET ambassador and a member of the IMechE from which she has obtained the title of CEng.
Quote: “I am delighted to have been asked to become an ambassador for the Dare to be Different program. Having helped D2BD at some events last year, I have witnessed the power of this initiative. Offering girls, aged 8-11yrs, a taste of Motorsport and karting but also, and equally importantly, of STEM subjects, nutrition, fitness and communication, is so important. It’s exciting and rewarding to be able to give something back to these girls, and I am honoured to join this impressive list of ambassadors, some of which I have worked alongside during my career in Motorsport.”
PROFESSION: Motorcycle Racer
Maria Costello is probably the most prominent woman in motorcycle road racing and the only female motorcycle racer ever to be awarded an MBE. She has achieved unrivalled success in a high-risk world, competing on equal terms with men in a sport renowned as the ultimate test for competitor and machine.
Maria was the first women ever to claim a podium finish in a race around the notorious Isle of Mann TT course – often described as the world’s most dangerous race track – but that’s just one of many accolades she has garnered in a career spanning 20 years (a feat itself!)
The 2016 race season has proved to be one of her best, securing the female lap record at the Vauxhall International Northwest 200, her best ever finish, so far, of 12th place in the Isle of Man Lightweight TT race and a podium alongside her hero and 23 times TT winner, John McGuinness in the Isle of Man Senior Classic TT.
Throughout that time, she has shown remarkable resilience and determination in the male dominated world of motorcycle racing, overcoming astonishing injuries – including 24 broken bones – to gain multiple podium finished in real road racing.
Never satisfied with confining her success to the track however, she breaks boundaries to pace the way for more women racers and motorcyclists alike. In 2013 she founded ‘Woman on a Motorcycle’ a community space where like-minded ladies can share experiences and ideas. Her pioneering ‘woman only’ track days have also gone from strength to strength; starting with just 11 riders, she now runs event for up to 70 riders at the world renowned circuits including Donnington Park and Silverstone. In 2016 she was also appointed by BMW Motorrad UK to front their nationwide initiative supporting women riders.
Her undeniable uniqueness, the fact that she’s a woman challenging gender stereotyping and succeeding in a male-dominated area, also attracts elusive and highly sort after coverage from all forms of media: lifestyle, tabloid & broadsheet newspapers, TV, radio and online media. Her talents, achievements and extraordinary story have made her a popular Keynote and motivational speaker too.