The Motorsport Sisterhood was officially founded on 15th September, 2015. It was a concept for far longer than that, but 15th September was when we got an official facebook page. Dory (the writer and social media mastermind) and I have discussed this at length and decided that I should document our way through the start-up process. The suggested format was a CEO's blog.
We want to play an open hand with everyone in the Sisterhood, so you know what we've done, what we plan to do, and where we're headed. We've got some exciting things planned over the next year, and a blog is the best way we know how to keep y'all up-to-date. Hence, I'm here, writing this to you to keep you in the loop about what's happening here at Sisterhood HQ.
PROGRESS MADE THIS QUARTER
Set up the webpage and social media presence
These days, nothing is a thing without a webpage. It took a while to wrangle Arvixe (our web host...big up to them, they're amazing) into submission. Since neither Dory nor I have mad coding skillz, we opted to go with Weebly as a design package. It's a great drag-and-drop interface that saves us paying an official designer to do the work for us (read: more money left over to sponsor). Neither of us have worked out how to use Arvixe's webmail interface, so if you email us at our @motorsportsisterhood.org addresses, it gets forwarded to our Gmail accounts and replied from there. We are working on this.
We have a Facebook page, a Twitter, a Tumblr, and a Pinterest. We apologise for the low rate of activity on the accounts; I'm juggling Sisterhood with a full-time job, a burgeoning art career, and a second degree; Dory is juggling a full-time job, and a book that is taking far more energy and mental health than she had anticipated.
Began set-up of the scholarship and sponsorship funds
We have made contact with a sponsorship agency to provide introductions for drivers until we have enough money to sponsor them ourselves. Contact us via email@example.com or one of our social media outlets if you're seeking sponsorship. We'll do our best to hook you up.
We are in discussions with an entity to broker scholarships for women in motorsports. That entity cover the UK, so we are negotiating for scholarships to South African universities to start our scholarship program off (and increase the number of women of colour in the industry, since motorsport is, at present, almost a complete white-wash).
Started the Woman of the Week series
We interview a different woman each week with the goal of providing positive female role models to girls/women aspiring to work in motorsport. Studies have shown that having positive role models decreases stereotype threat (which manifests in motorsport and STEM fields as "women are bad at driving/maths/science" and negatively affects women's performance at work). We want to further women's careers by highlighting how great they are, and there's the simultaneous benefit of decreasing stereotype threat. Win-win.
WHERE WE'RE GOING IN THE NEXT QUARTER
Scholarship and sponsorship fund
We hope to have applications open for the scholarships before March. We're also pushing for more sponsorship opportunities. What would y'all think of a series featuring women racers seeking sponsorship (Sponsor-Seeking Saturdays)? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, post in the comments, or get in touch with one of our social media accounts if you'd like to be featured as part of this.
Promoting our followers
If you're a woman in motorsport, and you'd like us to big up your internet presence, get in touch! We'd love to pin pics/articles of you on our Pinterest, retweet you, reblog you, share your posts, etc. We'd love to feature you as a Woman of the Week, or on Sponsor-Seeking Saturday. This was set up to be a community that supported each other. If you want support, reach out!
I did one edition of Soulcare Sundays a few months back. My current degree is in theology, and I often feel like there's a complete dearth of content on this theme in the industry. The response was, as Katherine Legge would put it, "crickets". Literally nobody clicked the link within a week of my posting it.
Since then, people have been searching the tag (yay Weebly's click tracker software!), so we're thinking of resurrecting this idea. What sorts of topics would y'all like to hear about? As above, email/tweet/FB/tumblr chat me with your topic requests.
Soft skills/personal development courses
Further to my suspicion that motorsport would be far healthier if we taught people soft skills (handling rejection, taking criticism like a pro, constructive conflict resolution, bringing humour to sexist attacks, etc.), we'd like to run a six-week course on these topics.
I know several drivers who have totally fallen apart after losing their drives; I'd like to armour our community with skills for dealing with these situations that are inevitable if you're in the industry for long enough. We will be offering a handful of financial hardship scholarships, so get in touch if you want to learn these skills but don't have £100 to hand in the short term.
Technically, this will be happening in the summer, not before March, but best to get the word out while there's still time for everyone to apply for leave and save those pennies. We are in discussions to book out a camp site, have a glamping and catering company do the hard work so our attendees don't need to drag tents and cooking equipment across Europe, and have negotiated a 10% discount in both grandstand tickets and VIP tickets for the Blancpain Spa 24Hr. We are also in discussions with several hair and beauty practitioners to provide massages, mani-pedis, facials, etc. to make the Spa Weekend a spa weekend in all senses of the word.
See you in the comments, on Twitter/FB/Tumblr/Pinterest!