An important initiative at the Society of Women Engineers is to inspire a new generation of women to pursue careers in STEM. We were pleased to find that this initiative is shared with Grace Autosport, the first all-female IndyCar Series racing team, which recently announced their participation in the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 next year, May 29, 2016.
Not only does the all-women team at Grace Autosport have a goal to put a woman’s face on the BorgWarner trophy and empower women in motorsport, but to encourage women to explore careers in STEM. We share this sentiment as we aim to change the perception of women in STEM careers and motivate more women to become part of the change.
The Grace Autosport team will have SWE’s full support as we explore ways that we can collaborate our efforts to achieve our shared goal. In the months leading up to next year’s race, SWE will feature members of the team in All Together sharing stories about their career paths, their leadership stories and why careers in STEM for women is an important cause to them.
“The women of Grace Autosport are an inspiration, demonstrating exactly what it means to reach your full potential and overcome adversity in a category that is primary male-dominated,” said Elizabeth Bierman, president of the Society of Women Engineers. “We look forward to exploring ways we can work together to promote this important objective.”
Members of the Grace Autosport team include Beth Paretta of the Paretta Company and former motorsports director for SRT Motorsports/Fiat Chrysler Automobiles; Katherine Legge, a two-time Indy 500 competitor who has been named as the inaugural driver; Catherine Crawford, aerodynamicist, principal of Crawford Composites and one of the few women around the globe supervising a race team; Lauren Elkins, motorsports engineer, track support technician and data analysis manager; Jessica Rowe, a junior design engineer with a variety of race experience both at track and in the design office; and Barbara Burns, a skilled motorsport professional specializing in communications, public relations, event management and media training for young professional athletes and drivers.
“I am very proud to be a part of this new and exciting team,” said Legge. “To me it’s more than just racing. It’s the start of something much bigger; a movement within the sport. Racing is my life-long passion and the drive to compete in the Indy 500 has been there since the very beginning. Being able to combine my enthusiasm for racing with the goal of empowering young women to pursue STEM subjects is a dream come true. It will be interesting to see it all unfold from the beginning and I have no doubt we will be successful.”
Check back here to learn more about the Grace Autosport team leading up to the 2016 Indy 500. For further information on Grace Autosport, visit graceautosport.com.