News 13 July 2021
Author: Courtney W

Lewis Hamilton’s Commission Publishes Report On Improving Diversity In UK Motorsport

13 July 2021

Seven-time Formula One World Champion Sir Lewis Hamilton and the Royal Academy of Engineering have published the findings from The Hamilton Commission report.

Titled Accelerating Change: Improving Representation of Black People in UK Motorsport, the report focuses on improving diversity within UK motorsport and is based on research over a period of ten months.

The Commission set out to identify the key barriers to the recruitment and progression of Black people in the sport, specifically within engineering positions in the industry.

The report has found that “factors within wider society, some of which are systemic in nature, as well as practices within Formula 1 have been identified as contributing towards a situation in which only 1 per cent employees in Formula 1 are from Black backgrounds”.

To assist in bringing about lasting change in motorsport, The Hamilton Commission has made ten recommendations under three key strands – support and empowerment, accountability and measurement, and inspiration and engagement.

Among the recommendations are:

  • the establishment of a new exclusions innovation fund, to develop programmes that address the factors that contribute to the high proportion of students from Black backgrounds being excluded from schools.
  • additional STEM activity support be provided to supplementary schools that are led by Black community groups across the UK. 
  • supporting the creation of scholarship programmes to enable Black graduates from degrees in engineering and allied subjects to progress into specialist motorsport roles. 
  • calling on the Department for Education, and other bodies holding education data, to enable easier public access to disaggregated data on student and staff characteristics, at subject level.

Lewis Hamilton believes the implementation of such recommendations will create a “more inclusive environment” within motorsport.

“While I have enjoyed a successful career in motorsport, it’s been a lonely path as one of the few Black individuals within Formula 1” Lewis Hamilton said. “After 15 years of waiting for the industry to catch up, I realised I had to take action myself.

He added: “Through the Commission’s research, we can see there are clear meaningful steps the motorsport industry needs to take towards creating a more inclusive environment where diversity can thrive but also that we must tackle the barriers facing Black students that exist throughout their educational journey. Some of these barriers I recognise from my own experiences, but our findings have opened my eyes to just how far reaching these problems are.

“Now that I’m armed with the Commission’s recommendations, I am personally committed to ensuring they are put into action. I’m so proud of our work to date, but this is really just the beginning.”

To read the report in full, click here.

[Image by sbonsi via ShutterStock]