The Hamilton Commission has published a report that identifies the key reasons for a lack of Black people working in motorsport and recommends action points to increase opportunities.
Set up by Lewis Hamilton last year, the Hamilton Commission has been investigating why only one percent of employees in Formula 1 come from a Black background, with a focus on UK motorsport and the talent pipeline entering the sector through engineering. The report research has been led by the Royal Academy of Engineering, and engineering positions were selected “as they represent a major group of occupations and offer the biggest opportunity for change.”
A 93-page report has been published that outlines a number of barriers, including the hiring practices of teams favoring a select group of high ranking universities, geographical factors, lower expectations of Black students’ academic abilities and a lack of Black role models in STEM teaching positions.
The report also provides 10 recommendations to address those barriers, including specific requests of F1 teams to open up the pool of talent they are choosing their engineers from:
* Asking that Formula 1 teams (and other Motorsports organizations) take the lead in implementing a Diversity and Inclusion Charter for motorsport to commit the sector to improve diversity and inclusion across all organizations.
* Calling for Formula 1 teams and other motorsport businesses to broaden access to motorsport by expanding the apprenticeships provision to include higher apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships as an alternate pathway into the sector, as well as availability to paid work placement and work experience schemes.
* Establishment of a new exclusions innovation fund, to develop programs that address the factors that contribute to the high proportion of students from Black backgrounds being excluded from schools.
* Supporting the piloting of new approaches to increase the number of Black teachers in STEM subjects that lead to careers in engineering, namely mathematics, physics, design and technology, and computing.
* Supporting the creation of scholarship programs to enable Black graduates from degrees in engineering and allied subjects to progress into specialist motorsport r.
* Calling for additional STEM activity support to be provided to supplementary schools led by Black community groups across the UK.
Hamilton called the report “one of the most fulfilling milestones in my entire career,” and said he felt he needed to be the one who led the work to try and improve opportunities for others from a Black background.
We warmly welcome today’s publication of the Hamilton Commission report, ‘Accelerating Change: Improving Representation of Black People in UK Motorsport'.
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) July 13, 2021
“Given the right opportunities and support, young people can excel at whatever they put their minds to, but our research shows that many young Black people are being closed out of opportunities within STEM, and having their full potential limited,” Hamilton said. “While I have enjoyed a successful career in motorsport, it’s been a lonely path as one of the few Black individuals within Formula 1 and, after 15 years of waiting for the industry to catch up, I realized I had to take action myself.
“In order to do that, I needed to understand what was preventing the industry from being as diverse as the world around it. Through the Commission’s research, we can see there are clear meaningful steps the motorsport industry needs to take towards creating a more inclusive environment where diversity can thrive but also that we must tackle the barriers facing Black students that exist throughout their educational journey.
“Some of these barriers I recognize from my own experiences, but our findings have opened my eyes to just how far reaching these problems are. Now that I’m armed with the Commission’s recommendations, I am personally committed to ensuring they are put into action. I’m so proud of our work to date, but this is really just the beginning.”