Opening the door to women in motorsport, and getting Girls on Track

"I've only ever done one interview in my whole career where I wasn't asked about my gender and I want to make the sport more diverse - I want to pass on the baton to the next generation."

"There's still a lot that needs to be done on gender diversity," says ROKiT Venturi Racing Team Principal Susie Wolff, who co-founded the FIA's Girls on Track initiative alongside world motorsport's governing body with the aim of encouraging more women and girls into the sport.


"It's great it's already started and more people are talking about it and have awareness of it. It's important to fight the subconscious biases, which we all have."


Wolff heads up a team that is one-third female in Venturi, where she was introduced to Reema Juffali - Saudi Arabia's first female racing driver. Juffali came to the Team Principal more than two years back, with the dream of making it in motorsport, and searching for advice as to how she could turn that dream into reality.

"I didn't know anything about racing," said the 29-year-old. "I didn't know how to get my foot in where I needed to do. When I had this encounter with Susie it was a sign that I needed to jump on it and just start racing. I didn't know how is it anywhere. I just realised I needed to try. I got on a track, went to a racing school and then a few months later, got my racing licence. Here I am today, racing for two years and doing what I love."

Susie Wolff and Reema Juffali on opening the door to women in motorsport

Girls on Track seeks to push forward the FIA’s goal of gender equality and increased participation in motorsport; "we want to inspire the next generation of young girls who want to create opportunity within the sport and make sure that they're supported through role models and mentoring," says Wolff.


"We have some fantastic ladies who are part of the team and before the pandemic hit, we put on live events who would get young school girls to the race track and open up all the different areas and aspects of the sport.

"Due to the pandemic, we're doing everything virtually, which actually has a huge added benefit that we're reaching a massively global audience as opposed to just doing local community-led events. So it's it's an initiative that I'm very proud to be a part of, and which is making progress."

READ MORE: How Venturi's Delphine Biscaye forged a career in motorsport

Having launched in February 2019 at the Mexico City E-Prix, and following more success with an event at the Berlin E-Prix early in 2019, Formula E partnered with FIA Girls on Track initiative again for Season 6 - when the championship was last able to welcome fans to events - at the season-opening Diryah E-Prix and Round 3 in Santiago, Chile.

It offered up a unique opportunity to inspire and encourage girls between the ages of 8-18 to get involved in a number of innovative activities aimed at boosting confidence and creating exciting new career opportunities. 

Dare to be different

Girls were able to get involved in technical workshops to develop their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills while being encouraged to be creative and work as a team. 

FIA Girls on Track: Diriyah, Season 6

Those taking part also learned directly from motorsport journalists as to how reporting from a race meeting and preparing a news story, as well as presenting a piece to camera.

Finally, girls could get stuck into a driving activity with a competitive element. After being guided by an instructor on a simulator about where to brake, how to steer through curves and when to accelerate, they were able to get out on-track for a practice lap and two timed laps - an opportunity to kick-start a karting career.

Join Nicki Shields + guests on #IWD2021

Formula E presenter, herself a Girls on Track ambassador, will be joined by a host of special guests over on Instagram Live this evening.

Abbie Eaton (racing driver), Cristina Manas (Jaguar Racing Performance Engineer), Liz Brooks (ROKiT Venturi Racing's Head of Communications), Derin Adetosoye (FETV presenter and Talent Call winner) and Laura Watts (FETV producer) will all be on hand from 7PM GMT and ready to answer your questions!