The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team is pleased to announce Accelerate 25; a five-year programme to mark the formalisation of the vision to become a more diverse and inclusive team.
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With the launch of black livery at the start of the 2020 Formula 1 season, they made a commitment to promoting greater diversity and inclusion within the team and the sport. The past months have seen a wealth of study, research and work undertaken within the team as they have worked to deepen our understanding in this area and develop their culture and practices.
2020 has been a historic year for the team on track but also within the core values and ambitions. They strongly believe that a more diverse and inclusive team will not only make them faster but also inspire others to set ambitious targets in this area. As a start, through Accelerate 25, they aim to continuously raise their standards of entry and initially aim for at least 25% of all new starters at the team to come from under-represented groups until the end of 2025.
To enhance this understanding internally, the team is embedding Diversity and Inclusion more deeply within the values and behaviours that flow through into everything they do. Approximately 200 recruiters at the team have completed Unconscious Bias training. 150 managers have also completed Diversity and Inclusion training, a programme entitled ‘Inclusive Excellence’, and all managers will have completed this training by the end of the year. Every employee will have participated in Diversity and Inclusion training by June 2021. The team has established a Diversity and Inclusion Forum for employees from underrepresented groups, to encourage their input in how the team can retain, develop and accelerate their progress.
An external company, the EW Group who are specialists in workplace diversity and inclusion, have undertaken an in-depth analysis of our recruitment and development processes with action plans underway to reach under-represented groups through mentoring, work experience, sponsorship and targeted advertising amongst team’s initiatives. The team is also partnering with the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE-UK) whose wealth of experience in working with organisations and engineering professionals to encourage and support engineers from black and minority ethnic backgrounds into engineering is a perfect fit, as they look to widen their appeal and increase the diversity of the talent within the team. AFBE-UK’s knowledge and support will be valuable resources as the team increases its efforts on this journey.
They know that delivering measurable change is a long-term commitment and one that begins during the education of the talented young people who will become team-mates of the future. The team has started to develop targeted education initiatives to encourage and support students from under-represented backgrounds who aspire to reach Formula One. Announced last month, the Mulberry STEM Academy; a partnership between the team and the Mulberry Schools Trust, is a five-year programme to give young people at the Trust and beyond access to inspirational role models, imaginative teaching and extra-curricular experiences to help develop their passion for STEM subjects and encourage them to continue these subjects in higher education.
The team is also delighted to announce a forthcoming partnership with the Stemettes who work to inspire the next generation of girls, young women and nonbinary young people into STEM fields. Their knowledge and experience will be invaluable. An award-winning UK social enterprise, the Stemettes provide encouragement and support through programmes, events and content platforms designed to inspire and educate, whilst also providing partner organisations with the opportunity to boost their talent pipeline.
Collaboration is key to ensuring the changes that they are striving to make at the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team can be reflected across the sport and they are very proud to be working closely with Formula One’s key stakeholders to improve accessibility. Both the FIA through its #PurposeDriven campaign, and Formula One through their #WeRaceAsOne activities trackside, have launched campaigns this season to widen the appeal and accessibility of Formula One.
This year, The Hamilton Commission was set up by our seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton, alongside The Royal Academy of Engineering, with the aim to identify the key barriers to recruitment and progression of Black people in UK motorsport and provide actional recommendations to overcome them. The Commission will be a key source of inspiration, knowledge and support for the team. Both Dr Nike Folayan MBE, Chair of the AFBE-UK, and Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, Co-founder of the Stemettes are two of the newly appointed Commissioners on the Board of The Hamilton Commission.
Toto Wolff commented: “Before the start of this Formula One season, we made a commitment to use our global platform in Formula One to make a difference to the world around us through a carefully considered Diversity & Inclusion programme. Our legacy off the track is just as important to this team as the success that we have achieved with our historic seventh consecutive World Championship this year. We have a real opportunity to drive the change that we all want to see in our sport through strengthening an inclusive and diverse culture at our team and using our platform to take that thinking beyond just our factory. I am very proud of the work that has been done over the last few months to take an in-depth look at our practices, to assess our weaknesses and to develop a long-term plan and commitment to take the necessary actions and realise every advantage of becoming a more diverse team; this is the vision expressed by our new programme, Accelerate 25.”
Before the start of this Formula One season, we made a commitment to use our global platform in Formula One to make a difference to the world around us through a carefully considered Diversity & Inclusion programme.
Paul Mills, Chief People Officer at the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team commented: “We are clearly committed to making a difference and we see Accelerate 25 as just the start. Becoming a more diverse team is not something that is achieved overnight. We are educating ourselves and taking targeted action that we believe will make a difference. We all have a lot to learn along the way and the support of organisations such as the Mulberry Schools Trust, the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers and the Stemettes will be valuable in widening our perspectives and enabling to reach the pools of talent that are under-represented in our sport. Everyone at the team is committed to embracing the challenges ahead as we work to deepen our understanding and deliver permanent sustainable growth in our diversity.”
Lewis Hamilton said: “In what has been a really tough year for everyone, I am incredibly proud of my team as we reach the end of such an intense season. Not only have we made history on the track, but they have joined me in pushing for change off the track, by working to make our team and our sport more diverse. We have made some positive strides this year which I’m proud of, however, we still have a long way to go and I know Accelerate 25 will give us the platform to deliver more meaningful change. I truly believe this will have a measurable and long-lasting impact on the face of sport for generations to come.”