The reaction of people when I tell them that I am a motorsport journalist is usually met with total surprise. Maybe it is my age, or the fact that I don’t “look” like I would be interested in motorsport, but usually it’s the fact that I am a woman. The responses are never negative though, normally a reference to Suzi Perry or Lee McKenzie and words along the lines of “wow, that is different.” I always find it funny though because, to me, my gender isn’t really relevant to how I do my job – it never has been and it never will be.
I signed up to be a part of Dare To Be Different at the Autosport International Show back in January of this year. As soon as I was informed that a personal hero of mine, Susie Wolff, was creating an initiative to inspire and motivate the female community within motorsport, I was sold. Yes the initiative might not be for everyone, but for a young woman hoping to embark on a long career in motorsport journalism, the idea of a community that supported me and offered advice and gave help when I needed it, seemed like Christmas had come early.
As well as offering members a strong online community, the team also organise ‘community connect’ events throughout the year. These events allow members to meet at fantastic locations across the country and listen to guest speakers, as well as offering the perfect networking opportunity. With the first community connect event being held at Silverstone in June, it was the turn of Mercedes Benz World in Surrey to host the next event.
The second community connect event was held on Sunday and the 5am wake up call was most definitely worth it. With fantastic guest speakers including the like of Wolff herself, the event made for a motivating reminder that if you truly work hard at something and you believe you can do it, you will.