In the years to come

What is the future of female participation in Motorsports -

In the years to come
F1 Academy Class of 2023 (Photo Credit: F1 Academy)

More than Equal's research exploring the gender gap in motorsport has revealed many ideas that would make a real difference in lowering the gender participation gap in motorsport.

There's a growing female fan base in motorsport. Acc0rding to F1's official report, female fan base for F1 was at 7% in 2017. In 2022, the number rose to 40%. This growth has also welcomed more representation in motorsports across careers. MTE's report also finds that the female fans are around 10 years younger than their male counterparts. 40% of the supporters have joined in the last five years and 70% of this growth has been as a result of social media.

Committing to tackling the challenges faced by female drivers is not just an important recognition that women have faced long-term systemic barriers in the sport, it is also key to ensuring that the sport’s emerging young and female fanbase remain engaged. - More than Equal

The research finds that female fans of motorsport also have stronger views in certain areas. There's great passion in following, watching and attending races amongst female fans. Female fans are also dissatisfied with the lack of female inclusion in motorsport. They are also sceptical about initiatives for change. Sponsors are currently viewed as performing very poorly in driving change, but fans are aware of the positive impact they could make. Compared with male fans, female motorsport fans show a remarkably strong willingness to alter their buying habits and switch to sponsor brands who support women.

In such a landscape, solutions like F1 academy, Discover to drive and Champions of the Future have emerged as the leading force. With more grassroots participation, data and research, many challenges and barriers faced by women in this sport can be mitigated.

Motorsport in the future should explore steps to provide financially accessible karting for all, provide grant funding opportunities for participation initiatives and set transparent targets for female driver participation growth. In addition it should provide more recognition and cultural change within the communities. It should commit to a zero-tolerance approach to sexist and offensive behaviour including among fans at events, improve facilities at karting tracks for female drivers, for example providing dedicated female changing and toilet facilities asa minimum and commit to better storytelling about progress in gender equality and inclusion.

Motorsports should support talented young female drivers by establishing clear and documented pathways for talented young females in motorsport from entry to elite level and working harder to build an evidence base and growth narrative for women and girls in motorsport to help attract external invest to support female drivers.

It's a long road to seeing a woman drive in Formula 1, the pinnacle of motorsport but we're on the ladder to reaching there.

"We have an ambitious goal at More than Equal - find and develop Formula 1's first female world champion" - Ali Donnelly, CEO More than Equal