06 April 2023
BWT Alpine F1 Team welcomed a group of 30 young school girls to the Enstone factory this week to meet with their chosen mentors as part of the team’s new Girls Mentoring Scheme.
Developed together in partnership with Motorsport UK and Girls on Track UK, BWT Alpine F1 Team’s Girls Mentoring Scheme aims to provide a support network for young girls looking to pursue a career in motorsport.
The Girls Mentoring Scheme forms part of the Alpine Rac(H)er Programme, which launched last year, with the aim of increasing diversity and investing in female participation at all levels of motorsport, from aspiring drivers to future engineers.
Two groups of secondary school-aged girls in Year 9 visited the Enstone factory in the UK and took part in various activities throughout the day, which included a sit-down discussion with their dedicated mentor. The girls were also taken on a special guided tour of the factory where this year’s A523 Formula 1 car and future car concepts are developed.
During the mentoring sessions, female members of BWT Alpine F1 Team spoke with the students to give them advice and guidance based on their own experiences and career path. Following the initial meeting, each mentor will stay in regular contact with the girls, providing updates and checking in on their progress.
Speaking about the Girls Mentoring Scheme, one of the girls commented: “Arriving at Alpine today, I was unsure about what to expect, but after meeting with my mentor and seeing the inner workings of an F1 factory, it’s exceeded all of my expectations. I really liked seeing the Race Operations Room, especially, and viewing the cars up close in the race bays. It’s certainly given me extra determination to work in motorsport.”
Claire Mesnier, Human Resources VP at Alpine, said: “The objective of the Girls Mentoring Scheme is to provide young girls with a positive role model, someone they can look up to and learn from. From what I saw today, I think it was a huge success and we hope the girls can really benefit from it. I’d like to thank our team at Enstone, Motorsport UK and Girls on Track UK for their continued support and I look forward to developing this partnership in the future. The Girls Mentoring Scheme also forms part of the Rac(H)er Programme and reinforces our commitment to diversifying our workforce and providing equal opportunities for everyone.”
Kavya Kurian, Junior Surfacer at BWT Alpine F1 Team and mentor, said: “It’s a privilege to be involved in such an important initiative and provide useful insight to girls looking to work in motorsport. When I was growing up, I had a really strong support network, which allowed me to achieve my dreams. Not everybody has that, so I think the Girls Mentoring Scheme can offer support to those who need it most.”
Louise Turner, Inspection at BWT Alpine F1 Team and mentor, said: “When I heard about the scheme, I immediately knew that I wanted to be involved. I’m keen to give something back and promote future female talent, so it’s something that’s close to my heart. The girls I spoke to showed an interest in my area of work, which was nice and asked plenty of questions. All the mentors, including myself, will be staying in regular contact with the girls and providing them with updates. I look forward to helping them on their journey.”
Neha Madhavan, Power Performance Analyst and mentor, said: “Having grown up in India, there was very little visibility or opportunity to find engineering roles, particularly in Formula 1. It was always my dream to work at the pinnacle of motorsport and hopefully the scheme provides a pathway for other like-minded girls looking to follow a similar career path. I found the mentoring sessions engaging and the girls really used the opportunity to learn and ask questions.”
Hugh Chambers, Motorsport UK CEO, said: “We are delighted to work with Alpine to attract and support more diverse talent in the sport. The Girls on Track UK programme has built a strong, engaged community that is determined to show that history does not necessarily shape the future. Mentorship is an incredible opportunity for girls considering a career in motorsport to talk to other women who have experienced its extraordinary advantages and challenges. We hope initiatives such as this continue to open the sport even further and we look forward to contributing to future initiatives utilising the Girls on Track UK platform.”