A report, led by the Royal Academy of Engineering, found that only 1% of employees in Formula 1 are of black ancestry. While the Mercedes team has so far taken its own steps to improve this number, the report highlights the fact that there is much more to be done across the board.
In response to the report, Mercedes released a statement highlighting the importance of having people of different races in the middle of a Formula 1 race. “It is important research that highlights the many barriers that have contributed to the underrepresentation of people from ethnic minority backgrounds in British motorsport and enriches our understanding of these Barriers and how they can be addressed.
The German team also highlighted its own work in the fight for diversity in this category alongside seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. “Together with Lewis, we have begun work to build a more diverse and inclusive sport for the future, starting with the Mercedes Formula 1 team. We are at the start of a long journey together to achieve this and look forward to developing a series of commission recommendations in the coming years.”
In the report released by the Royal Academy of Engineering, some recommendations for action are also made so that teams and organizations in the automotive sector can embrace and create a more diverse and equal environment. Some of these recommendations were:
Ask F1 teams (and other motorsports organisations) to take the lead in implementing the Diversity and Inclusion Charter for motorsports to commit the sector to improving diversity and inclusion across all organisations.
– Require F1 teams and other motorsports companies to expand access to motorsports, expand their apprenticeship offer to higher apprenticeships and apprenticeships as an alternative path to the sector, as well as make available paid employment opportunities and professional experience to coaching schemes.
Create a new Exclusionary Innovation Fund to develop programs that address factors that contribute to the high percentage of black students being excluded from school.
Support the launch of new curricula to increase the number of black teachers in disciplines that lead to careers in engineering, mathematics, physics, design, technology, and computing.
Support the establishment of scholarship programs to enable black graduates in engineering and related disciplines to progress to specialized positions in motorsports.
Request additional support activities to provide to complementary schools led by black community groups across the UK.