WinA Member of the Month
Know of someone you would like to see featured as our next Women in Automotive Member of the Month, or interested in sharing your own automotive story? Get in touch below and let us know.
Tell us a bit about your current role or involvement in the automotive industry.
I work in Brand Experience and Entertainment for Formula 1 and have just finished working on my first-ever British Grand Prix (and the biggest one to date). For those wondering, what does that even mean, basically it is a bit of Marketing, PR and talent management all rolled into one giant Excel spreadsheet!
What was your first professional experience within the automotive industry?
I grew up in Melbourne where we are so lucky to have so many major sporting events in the city. I loved cars and the V8 Supercars growing up, which my dad loved because my 2 brothers were more into AFL. I initially went to my first Australian Grand Prix to see the Supercars and then found a new love for F1.
Do you think you have experienced challenges within the industry that your male counterparts have not?
Yes, of course, I think we all have at some point. I have worked in the sport sponsorship space for a while now, and up until recently it was traditionally male-dominated, so I was always the only female at the table at a lot of events. It is so nice to now see so many women in the day-to-day operations in the sporting world and more younger women moving up through the ranks.
What is your biggest achievement within the automotive industry, personal or professional?
To be honest, I really threw everything up in the air at the end of last year when I made the decision to try and work for a Formula 1 team. We all know how competitive that is, so in order to do that I had to really push myself and get out there. I had to leave Australia to really chase this dream and it was a really hard decision to leave a job that you love to chase another job that might never come to fruition.
It is not easy to find a job overseas, especially in such a competitive industry and in a place where you have a smaller network. So, getting to work at the British Grand Prix this year was more than I could have ever imagined, especially as the first step on my journey.
Do you have a favourite resource as a woman working in the automotive industry? Maybe a book, event, organization, mentor, or online platform?
I am very traditional when it comes to resources. People always ask me how I grew my network and yes, LinkedIn is a great tool for staying in contact but, honestly,
you have to be out there face-to-face (old school) meeting people, going for coffees, going to events, etc. You just have to keep hustling, always. I had an amazing boss when I first started my career who, now that I look back, taught me everything I know about client service, networking and the power of conversation (she knows who she is, but I won’t name her).
Who is your inspiration as a female in automotive?
Susie Wolff - OBVIOUSLY!! I basically want to be her. I don’t think I could even get close, but she is absolutely incredible.
What is the best piece of advice that you have received or that you could give to another woman working in the automotive industry?
Don’t be afraid to ask. It doesn’t matter what it is, the worst that could happen is that someone says no. There is a lot of rejection along the way, and I have learnt to not take it personally (even though you always do). Just keep pushing and working hard, trust the timing and it will eventually all fall into place. Finally, always support one another.