The Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) has launched the Hamilton Commission research report, Accelerating Change: Improving Representation of Black People in UK Motorsport
The research, led by the RAEng over a period of 10 months, included a survey of ~2,450 young people (over a third of whom were from Black backgrounds) and interviews with 100 young people. The research also included a detailed literature review, data analysis, and interviews with 100 stakeholders across motorsport, engineering and all phases of education.
The Commission, which was co-Chaired by Sir Lewis Hamilton MBE Hon FREng and RAEng CEO Dr Hayaatun Sillem, also engaged a 14-strong Board of Commissioners from relevant fields including motorsport, politics, education and engineering, who have each helped to inform and shape the report and its findings.
In the report's Foreword, Sir Lewis Hamilton says "While our report focuses on motorsport, it uses the industry as a lens through which to explore institutional issues across our society that prevent Black youth from achieving their highest potential". Dr Hayatuun Sillem says "There is now a powerful evidence base that improving diversity and inclusion yields clear and measurable business benefits when underpinned by a systemic approach and driven by committed leadership. It is also, simply, the right thing to do".
As a result of this detailed research, an evidence-based report has been produced which includes chapters exploring:
- Formula 1 and the UK motorsport sector
- young Black people’s interest in engineering and motorsport
- young Black people and STEM subjects at school
- post-16 education
- higher education.
While the research focused on the talent pipeline for Black students entering motorsport via engineering, factors within wider society, some of which are systemic in nature, as well as practices within the motorsport industry were found to have an impact. The Commission has identified 10 recommendations it believes will have long-lasting and positive impact on the motorsport industry and encourage more young Black students to pursue subjects which lead to careers in engineering.
Although this report focuses on the challenges around STEM and the motorsport industry specific to the UK, many of the insights and actions from the research are applicable across broader engineering industries both UK and globally. RAEng will look to share the findings and recommendations widely with its partners, stakeholders, and networks, and use the insights from this research to inform its own diversity and inclusion work.
Both the full report, 'Accelerating Change: Improving Representation of Black People in UK Motorsport' and an interactive summary are available on the RAEng website. Media coverage includes an interview with Lewis Hamilton from the Guardian over the weekend and an interview with Lewis Hamilton on BBC Breakfast on 13 July 2021.