Last week, we celebrated International Women in Engineering Day in partnership with Oracle Red Bull Racing at an event at the Red Bull Technology campus in Milton Keynes. The day was aimed at giving women in engineering and STEM a platform to hear from top female engineers, network, and provide insight into the roles in engineering that are available to them.
- Hannah Schmitz led a panel discussion with Aimee Gibbard and Regan Peet where they shared their journeys to F1 engineering and shared advice on how to pursue a career in F1 engineering
- The launch of “Rokt the Rig”, an initiative announced in partnership between Rokt and Oracle Red Bull Racing, aims to bring more diversity to F1 and esports by searching for female sim drivers and fostering greater inclusivity in the racing world
- Following the launch, the panel featuring Srishti Gupta, Rokt’s Chief Product Officer, Laura Craig, an esports and Gaming Executive at Oracle Red Bull Racing, Sebastian Job, one of Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports drivers, and Ash Vandelay, an Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports ambassador that shared the importance of more women representation in the world of esports
- Tatiana Calderon, a professional racing driver, shared her experience of pursuing her dream in a male-dominated field and her fascination with engineering
- A panel of engineers outside of the F1 space including two Rokt engineers, Erfana Sikder and Sasha Marks along with Caroline Woolley, Oracle Technology Software Engineering UK Director, and Fiona McEwan, Technical Racing Advisor for Exxon Mobil ,shared their insight on how engineering careers can be applied in a diverse, wide range of industries
- The event provided opportunities for attendees to engage with women engineers, gain insights into the world of F1, and receive one-on-one sessions for career guidance
Paving your own way in motorsports: inspirational stories from Oracle Red Bull Racing female engineers
The event began with a panel discussion led by Hannah Schmitz, Principal Strategy Engineer of Oracle Red Bull Racing, accompanied by Aimee Gibbard, Test Engineer, and Reagan Peet, Production Controller. Together, they shared their inspiring journeys within the realm of F1 engineering.
Hannah Schmitz, in her address, emphasized the inclusive nature of the motorsport world in the wide range of jobs available. She encouraged the audience that it’s not always about how you look on paper, and more about the passion you bring to your work!
Aimee Gibbard works in research and development testing. Gibbard expressed the range of roles within F1 and encouraged all individuals to find what excites them and apply for roles even if you’re doubtful of your credentials. “As women, we tend to doubt ourselves so strongly, but so often those things we tell ourselves aren’t true,” said Gibbard. Aimee’s statement served as a reminder for women to recognize their own capabilities and overcome self-imposed limitations and to believe in themselves.
Reagan Peet, graduated university with a degree in Physics, and with many roles in F1 looking for mechanical engineering backgrounds, she knew she had a long road ahead of her. That didn’t stop her. She hustled, networked, and built her experience to get to where she is at Oracle Red Bull Racing today. “I think I applied for 300 jobs, but you just have to keep going, even if you don’t have what’s on the listing,” said Peet. To this day Regan is grateful that she persevered and is able to live out her dream professionally, everyday.
Driving diversity in F1 and esports: introducing the “Rokt the Rig” initiative
The event also announced “Rokt the Rig”, during a panel discussion with Srishti Gupta, Rokt’s Chief Product Officer, Laura Craig, an esports and Gaming Executive at Oracle Red Bull Racing, Sebastian Job, one of the esports drivers for Oracle Red Bull Racing team, and Ash Vandelay, an Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports Ambassador.
The initiative will bring more diversity to the world of Formula 1 and esports in a global talent search to foster six women sim racers and women looking to get involved in broader areas such as engineers. Those drivers will be part of a development program and will gain opportunities for more exposure into the world of esports.
The panel also spoke about the importance of diversity in esports and how “Rokt The Rig” is part of the two organizations’ efforts to promote diversity in esports, technology and commerce across the globe. Srishti Gupta explained why Rokt’s collaboration with the team is so important.
As part of the panel that introduced “Rokt the Rig”, Sebastian Job, a professional esports driver for Oracle Red Bull Racing, shared his personal journey. Job entered into the world of esports without having the latest kit, even practicing at his dining room table. His career took off in 2013 when he turned to esports as a path to enter the world of motorsports. After achieving his goal in 2018, he ventured back into esports and eventually joined Oracle Red Bull Racing. Sebastian’s story showcased how esports can serve as an accessible and cost-effective entry point into motorsports.
Insights from professional racing driver, Tatiana Calderon
Tatiana Calderon, a professional racing driver, took the stage alongside Chelcee Grimes, the event host and moderator, sharing her entry into the professional world of racing. Raised in Colombia, Calderon’s passion for racing began when her older sister introduced her to a go-kart track near their house in Bogota. Determined to race professionally, Calderon pursued her dream despite being surrounded by male-dominated environments and was able to pave her own way as an F2 driver. She developed a fascination with engineering and shared her hopes of more race cars built specifically for women to be more inclusive. The support of her family and passion for driving helped her never give up on her dreams.
Building solutions and breaking barriers
For the last session, Chelcee Grimes was joined on stage with four female engineers. Erfana Sikder, Engineering Manager at Rokt, Sasha Marks, Senior Software Engineer at Rokt along with Caroline Woolley, Oracle Technology Software Engineering UK Director, and Fiona McEwan, Technical Racing Advisor for Exxon Mobil, took the stage to share their experiences in various areas of engineering.
The women shared insight of how engineering careers can be applied in a diverse, wide range of industries. The panelists provided insight into how their roles go beyond just engineering. Their responsibilities touch many points of their respective companies from sales to marketing and how the role they play impacts their organizations at large.
After the on-stage appearances there was a meet and greet for the attendees where they were invited to talk to the women engineers who cover every aspect of engineering from software and data sciences to aerodynamics and electronics. It was also a chance for one-to-one sessions for the attendees to get some real insight into the world of Formula 1 and how they can prepare their CVs to highlight why they would be the perfect candidate.
Our International Women in Engineering Day celebration was a reminder of all the accomplishments made by women in STEM. We’re looking forward to creating opportunities and unleashing diversity in the world of technology, Formula 1, and esports for future generations of women to come!
To learn more about how we’re working with Oracle Red Bull Racing to unleash more diversity in F1, learn more about our partnership here.