Creative Access joins consortium with McLaren Racing in drive towards increased diversity in motorsport

Posted on June 30, 2021

Creative Access is teaming up with McLaren Racing as part of a unique industry-first alliance working towards diversifying talent in motorsport, particularly in creative roles.

The multi-year McLaren Racing Engage programme will leverage the expertise of Creative Access to drive forward the 20-time Formula 1 constructors champions’ diversity, equality, and inclusion agenda.

Working alongside the Women’s Engineering SocietyEqualEngineers, and the Smallpeice Trust, Creative Access will support McLaren Racing to promote STEM and Formula 1 as an accessible vocation to under-represented groups, foster a culture of inclusion within McLaren, and advance meaningful and sustained change in the motorsport industry. This will be achieved by investments in grassroots-level education and training through various STEM initiatives, funding, and mentorship programmes.

“We are thrilled to be part of this coalition with McLaren Racing,” Josie Dobrin, Chief Executive of Creative Access, said. “It’s a fantastic opportunity to work with like-minded organisations to truly make a difference to one of the sporting world’s most prestigious brands.”

Creative Access will be the lead partner for aspects of the programme that focus on improving inclusive strategies, policies, and recruitment practices to hire, upskill, and advance diverse talent in McLaren Racing’s creative functions, including in their marketing, brand, and design teams.

The initiative will also see the launch of the Creative Access Career Development Bursary, a new fund aimed at talent from under-represented communities who have aspirations to work in motorsport. The bursary will support them with financial grants as a means to overcome some of the real obstacles they face in entering the industry or progressing in it.

Josie Dobrin added:

“We’re particularly excited to be able to run a pilot bursary fund supported by McLaren Racing. This will enable those from communities under-represented in the sector to access money to support them with their career progression.”

Details of the bursary scheme will be unveiled later.

Given the fast-moving nature of motorsport and the technological advances that underpin optimal performance, Zak Brown, the CEO of McLaren Racing, has highlighted the importance of innovation driven by diversity that will enable his team to stay competitive.

“McLaren Racing is fuelled by brave innovation, but brave innovation relies on diversity of thought and experience across all levels and functions, reflective of our fans, our partners and our communities,” he said.

“By investing in grassroots talent through these STEM initiatives, mentorship and inclusive development programmes, we aim to inspire the future generations of talent by fuelling their passion for engineering and F1.”

Although there are no official figures on the make-up of the workforce across Formula 1 teams, there is a perception that the sport is inaccessible to those from lower socio-economic backgrounds and that there’s a lack of diversity across the racing industry. Formula 1 has stated a commitment to building a more diverse and inclusive sport by breaking down the stereotypes associated with a motorsport careers and encouraging people from all backgrounds to get involved so that the sport better reflects the world in which it races.

A press release from McLaren Racing can be viewed here.