Lyn St. James & Beth Paretta launch Women In Motorsports North America
Former IndyCar star and advocate for women in motorsport Lyn St. James, together with team owner Beth Paretta, launched the Women in Motorsports North America initiative to "to foster mentorship, advocacy, education, and growth to help ensure a successful and effective future for women in professional motorsports roles."
Women in motorsport are making waves all around the globe and it is increasingly important to coordinate the efforts to maximise the impact and objectives for the short and long term future. A new initiative has just been launched by two of the most inspiring leading figures in the sport in North America: Lyn St. James and Beth Paretta.
"Women in Motorsports North America is a community of professionals devoted to supporting opportunities for women across all disciplines of motorsport by creating an inclusive, resourceful environment to foster mentorship, advocacy, education, and growth, thereby ensuring the continued strength and successful future of our sport." - this is how the new organization's statement describes its mission.
Former IndyCar star - and first woman to win the Indy500 Rookie of the Year award - Lyn St. James has taken on the role of mentor and advocate for women in the sport and teamed up with Paretta Autosport team owner Beth Paretta - a woman that has led the way in the automotive management field - to help grow and support the female involvement in all disciplines of motorsport, in the direction of equality in what is still vastly a men-dominated sport.
The idea of the project started in the summer of 2021 in order to create an organisation to help women find their way into motorsport.
“There has long been a need for a place where all the professional women working in motorsports can come together to collaborate and elevate their opportunities" - explained Lyn St. James. "Beth and I had spoken about this subject on a number of occasions, and we decided to develop a platform and bring in some of the many talented professionals currently employed in the sport to join committees and build a charity to be a place women could go for resources who want to work in motorsports.”
A work group was founded in August last year, with a team of about 40 women and some male allies to advance the idea into reality. And now, Women In Motorsports North America is very much a reality. A website was launched this week to help women grow their work-network and careers in motorsport.
The main goal is to encourage, support and mentor women in the motor sport business and support their careers as well as to discover the many paths to work in the sport.
Better visibility, better communication and better involvement: the organization is also working towards scholarships, mentorship programs and internships for women.
Some of the big names you'll find in the community - together with founders Lyn St. James and Beth Paretta - are Katherine Legge, Jamie Little, Sabré Cook, Alba Colon and many more who will build a strong foundation for the diversified roles such as drivers, engineering, mechanics, media.
“We are proud to have such a strong, varied Working Group of professional women and men who have helped shape our purpose and strategy" - said Paretta, who has just recently announced that her team will return to Indycar for a partial campaign with Simona de Silvestro.
"Our strength is in our members and the breadth of their perspectives across many disciplines including engineers, drivers, team management, PR/marketing, track operations, sponsor relations, and event promotions."
"As we strive to increase opportunities for women to work in motorsports, WIMNA will be a resource for people considering or advancing their careers", continued Paretta, who was the first female director of a performance brand and motorsport for an automotive company.
"The organization will help us all work together to identify, train, and support new talent to continue to produce a pipeline of future experts in our sport.”
For more information and how you can get involved, visit Women in Motorsports North America.