The Friday press-conference in Baku was unexpectedly fun than usual, and also touched on some important topics. One of them was a pay gap between female and male employees in Formula 1 championship. As the only female principal in F1, Claire Williams explain her point of view on this problem.
"Certainly, for me, the means by which you test how well you are doing to ensure gender equality within your business is firstly by the number of women you actually have and year-on-year we have more and more women coming to work at Williams and I’m pleased to say not just in the more female-dominated roles we’ve had it motorsport in the past, of admin and marketing. More women are coming up now in engineering roles; we’ve got more women in our aerodynamics department, in vehicle design, development etc,” – Claire said.
"And secondly, the most important number for me when we are looking at gender equality is how you much you pay your female staff versus your male. And we went through a big analysis on this two years ago, before we even had to report on gender pay, and we made sure that every woman that was doing the same job as a man was paid the same amount as that male employee for doing the same job”.
The men also have joined the discussion. Otmar Szafnauer from Racing Point told about situation with gender gap in his team.
"At Racing Point and Force India before, we don’t really differentiate be gender at all. So, we differentiate by the ability to do the job. There are many – well, not many – but a few departments that I can think of now where we have both men and women and they are led by women and that’s why just because they are better at what they do. I think if that’s the philosophy, the gender pay gap should naturally become zero, so that’s how we go about things”.
Toto Wolff has supported Claire in a question about the raise of interest to come in motorsport from the female side.
"I’m really happy to see that, from the young ones that are going us, it looks like the proportion of young ladies is much higher than it was in the past. Being an engineer, technical or mechanic is more of career route than it was in the past,” – Toto said to journalists.
Also Mr Wolff has mentioned the women programme in motorsport “Dare to be Different” that was created by his wife Susie Wolff, and said that proportion of women in the organization is really growing.
"As you know, my wife has done a programme that was called “Dare to be Different” and has joined forces with the FIA now, in order to promote young women into the sport, so I’m the first one to have seen how powerful that can be and I think the proportion of females in our organization will grow, or is growing as we speak – and that’s good”.
Some days ago Dr Marko from Red Bull made a bold statement, saying that motorsport is too brutal for women. Christian Horner commented his words and said that from a Red Bull perspective, they would like to see girls in motorsport come through, but it needs more involvement, and to appeal more as a sport where girls can get involved at a grassroots stage.
"From a Red Bull perspective we’d be delighted to see more girls coming into the sport; we’d be delighted to see a girl get into Formula 1 and ideally be competitive in Formula 1 at the moment and I think what that needs is for more girls to get involved at the grassroots, to get involved, to go karting and there needs to be a bigger pool of them coming though the sport. I think that way more opportunities will present themselves. There’s obviously a Formula W category now that starts shortly but again, where will that lead on to? They need to be able to move on from there”.
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