McLaren Racing forms pioneering alliance to diversify talent in motorsport


McLaren Racing is pioneering a strategic alliance with four expert partners to drive forward a programme of collaborative initiatives to diversify talent in motorsport. 

The four partners are: Women’s Engineering Society (WES); EqualEngineers; The Smallpeice Trust; and Creative Access. 

The alliance, known as McLaren Racing Engage, will advance the team’s diversity, equality and inclusion agenda as part of its broader sustainability programme, including its commitment to F1’s WeRaceAsOne platform.  

The alliance will drive a shared agenda to:  

  • Promote STEM and F1 as an accessible vocation to under-represented and under-privileged groups
  • Foster a diverse and inclusive culture within McLaren’s workforce and communities by providing accessibility to young people and under-represented groups 
  • Advance meaningful and sustained change for McLaren Racing as an employer, and F1 as a sport and industry

McLaren Racing Engage will be the first of its kind in F1, uniting each partner to significantly improve diversity and inclusion across the industry, and to inspire future generations of talent.  The alliance will run a programme of initiatives over multiple years, which is accessible to all by investing in grassroots-level education and training through various STEM initiatives, funding and mentorship programmes.

Women’s Engineering Society (WES) and McLaren Racing will launch a reciprocal mentorship programme for McLaren Racing’s female engineers and WES mentees, alongside sponsoring the WES Annual and Student Conferences, and playing a part in the annual ‘Lottie Tour’ campaign. 

As a founding partner in the EqualEngineers Pathways Programme, McLaren Racing will provide professional support for mentoring and career events. McLaren Racing will also join the 2021 Engineering Talent Awards as a Principal Partner. In addition, EqualEngineers will deliver internal training for McLaren Racing employees, focused on creating inclusive cultures. 

The Smallpeice Trust and McLaren Racing will co-design a custom STEM challenge day to introduce students to the exciting world of engineering.  McLaren Racing will also provide funding support to their Arkwright Engineering Scholarship scheme, which supports A-Level students with financial support, enrichment activities and mentoring opportunities. 

Creative Access will work with McLaren Racing on improving inclusive strategies, policies and recruitment practices to hire, educate and uplift diverse talent in its creative functions. McLaren Racing will also provide bursary support to the Creative Access Career Development Bursary.

Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, said:

“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. 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.  

“In doing so, we strive to become a more diverse and inclusive team and sport through our commitment to F1’s WeRaceAsOne platform.”

Daniel Gallo, Chief People Officer, McLaren Racing, said:

“Creating a diverse and inclusive organisation is central to our people and cultural journey as a racing team and employer. We are committed to driving this forward over the coming years, acknowledging this will take time and energy over the long-term to achieve.

“We are excited to be launching McLaren Racing Engage in conjunction with some truly amazing experts in their fields who share our vision and passion for this topic. Through the alliance, we hope to reach those who would not automatically see F1 and engineering as a career choice for them, so we can tackle the growing demand for STEM and creative skills in our industry.”  

Tim Bampton, Chief Communications Officer, McLaren Racing, said: 

“As part of the societal priority in our sustainability roadmap, our objective is for our workforce to be more representative of the population by 2030.   

“We are already engaged with the Formula 1 taskforce to help advance the agenda of diversity, inclusion and opportunity across the sport in all its forms. Now, McLaren Racing Engage will directly help us to progress in our efforts to positively impact, influence and inspire the communities where we work and race.” 

About McLaren Racing

McLaren Racing was founded by New Zealand racing driver Bruce McLaren in 1963. The team entered its first Formula 1 race in 1966, since then McLaren has won 20 Formula 1 world championships, more than 180 Formula 1 grands prix, the Le Mans 24 Hours at its first attempt and the Indianapolis 500 three times. McLaren Racing currently competes in Formula 1 globally and INDYCAR in the US. 

The team is contesting the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship with Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, and in the 2021 INDYCAR Series with Arrow McLaren SP drivers Pato O’Ward and Felix Rosenqvist. In 2022, McLaren Racing will enter a new category of motorsport when it enters a team into Extreme E, the innovative all-electric off-road racing series.

About Women’s Engineering Society (WES): 

The Women's Engineering Society is a charity and professional network of female engineers, scientists and technologists offering inspiration, support and professional development. WES’ vision is of an engineering industry that employs the diversity of the society it serves to solve the biggest societal issues of our time, and WES’ mission is to support women in engineering to fulfil their potential and support the engineering industry to be inclusive. WES was founded on 23 June 1919 by a small committee of influential women drawn from the National Council of Women, to promote engineering as a rewarding job for women and to resist pressure to leave engineering to release jobs for men returning from the forces. WES organises International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) on its birthday every year, a global celebration of women in engineering.

Elizabeth Donnelly, Chief Executive Officer, Women's Engineering Society (WES)

About EqualEngineers: 

EqualEngineers work with engineering students from diverse backgrounds which are under-represented in industry and face additional challenges in securing graduate employment in engineering. As a founding partner the EqualEngineers Pathways Programme, which seeks to ensure greater employability outcomes for engineering students by 2025, McLaren Racing will aid the delivery of this programme, as well as provide professional support for mentoring and career events. In addition, EqualEngineers will deliver internal training for McLaren Racing employees, focused on creating inclusive cultures.

Dr Mark McBride-Wright CEng MIChemE, Founder, EqualEngineers, said:

“The power of motorsport to unite and influence wider society cannot be underestimated – it cuts through differences and provides a platform which people from all backgrounds and cultures share a passion for. This alliance provides an incredible opportunity to showcase that engineering is a career pathway open to everyone, from anywhere in the world.”

Mark McBride-Wright, Founder & Managing Director, EqualEngineers


About The Smallpeice Trust: 

Founded in 1966 by a self-taught engineer, Dr Cosby Smallpeice, The Smallpeice Trust is a vibrant educational charity that is passionate about engaging 8- to 18-year-olds to take up careers in STEM. They want all to ensure all young people have the opportunity to engage in engineering inspiration activities particularly  students from under-represented groups in Engineering (Females, Less Advantaged, Ethinic Minorities). 

Smallpeice Trust and McLaren Racing will be co-designing a custom STEM challenge day to introduce students to the exciting world of engineering. This will be hosted by a Smallpeice Trust trained educator and supported by a McLaren Racing STEM ambassador at primary and secondary schools who have higher numbers of children from under-represented backgrounds. McLaren Racing will also provide funding for their Arkwright Engineering Scholarship programme, which includes financial award to the school and scholar’s studies and mentoring from a professional engineer. 

Dr Kevin P Stenson, Chief Executive, The Smallpeice Trust, said: 

“Fuelling the passions of all young people to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) will help create the engineering workforce of the future.  

“We’re delighted to be part of the McLaren Racing Engage Alliance to work with like-minded organisations to diversify the talent in motorsport and help students bring their big ideas to life.”

Dr Kevin P Stenson, Chief Executive, The Smallpeice Trust 


About Creative Access: 

Creative Access are one of the UK's leading diversity organisations operating as a not-for-profit social enterprise within the creative marketing sector. Their mission is to support talented people from groups that are under-represented in terms of ethnicity, socio-economic background and disability, or facing significant barriers to employment, to not just enter the creative economy, but to thrive when they get in.

Creative Access will work with McLaren Racing on improving inclusive strategies, policies and recruitment practices to hire, educate and uplift diverse talent in their creative functions. This includes access to their early careers talent to increase the talent pool from under-represented groups at McLaren Racing, and development opportunities for existing employee to progress to senior positions. 

In addition, McLaren Racing will provide bursary support to the Creative Access Career Development Bursary; a cash grant to remove the obstacles to either getting into the creative industries or to career progression.

Josie Dobrin, Chief Executive, Creative Access