PROGRESS MADE THIS QUARTER
Skills Level-Up: Emails
We figured out how to access our Arvixe-hosted emails. They're no longer forwarded to our personal emails and answered from there. You can reach Dory at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Brij at email@example.com.
Woman of the Week Series
We've had a good response to the WotW series. Formula E's official twitter account tweeted about Naomi's WotW (twice, including once on International Women's Day!), which extended our reach in a way that we're very grateful for. Our apologies that it's been a bit patchy; our personal lives got in the way of weekly interviews.
Scholarship and Sponsorship Fund
We're working on more efficient options to fill the fund without getting out the donations hat. The Zazzle store...it's an expensive way of running an online store, so very little of what y'all spend on merch actually ends up in the fund. We're in talks with a silk artist to make custom scarves (including a version that can be used as head scarves by the Muslim sisters and a modesty shawl for the breast-feeding sisters) for the store that will be appearing on the website in the next quarter. We're looking for people to print t-shirts, hoodies, etc. to replace the Zazzle option. If you know a motorsport-friendly t-shirt printer, please email us about them! Bonus points awarded if it's a business owned and run by a woman or a member of a traditionally marginalised group.
We realised that the best way to get kids excited about motorsport is to get them to participate. The basic model for this project will be to host family fun days in towns with karting tracks, have races for both kids and parents, and generally provide a good time for everyone. This will achieve several Sisterhood-orientated goals – provide cost-efficient karting days to get kids proficient before their parents invest in equipment; give everyone the opportunity to race against girls, and get used to seeing them as competitors; show a good cross-section of talent to bring up stars from the next generation. We're in discussions with people in the UK and Canada to get this going as a reality.
WHAT WE'RE PLANNING FOR THE NEXT QUARTER
We've had Bunmi from Gridpasses (who interviewed Danielle Murphy for WotW) write for us. Bunmi has been a part of the influence circle for the Sisterhood from the beginning. She's been my sounding board since the community was little more than an idea, and is a tour de force of Twitter introductions. We're also bringing Sarah on board as a contributor. When we get the store sorted out, her artwork will be on some of the shirts. She will also be writing for us.
On the subject...
If you have pieces written about women in motorsport, but can't find a motorsport media outlet to publish your article, give us a shout. We would love your content! Likewise, if you would like to interview a woman in the industry who you think is amazing, contact us; we would love to have her as a Woman of the Week.
Once the Sisterhood HQ is in Oxfordshire (should happen this quarter, all things being equal), we want to start games nights. As in, we rent a venue that has a kitchen and a liquor license, provide a meal and two beers, and play geeky games like 30 Seconds: Motorsport Edition. A small portion of the cover charge will be donated to the Scholarship/Sponsorship fund. The events will not be women-only; you're welcome to bring partners, friends, team-mates, etc. of both genders. Or show up in all-girl and all-guy teams and compete to see who's smarter. Whatever works for you.
There's only so much that anybody can do over the internet. I realised in January that I couldn't possibly run the Sisterhood from my hometown in Zimbabwe. I am in the process of organising a relocation to the UK to be closer to the action. Dory has come to Africa for a writer's retreat, and will be staying until the book is finished. She will continue to do interviews and research for the book (which is a novel about F1 culture) via Skype and email.
We've been talking about running courses since we started. We aim to have the first one online in June/July. The hitch has been that both Dory and I think what the community needs is training in feminism, but there's always such a backlash from the general social media public as soon as the F word is mentioned. Nobody else is running those courses, and the data show that there's a need for us as a sporting community to have these discussions. So we're coming to a compromise. We're writing courses about authenticity on social media and in sponsor selection, and handling salary and contract negotiations confidently, and dealing with rejection. These are properly applicable topics in feminism, and will hopefully be more interesting and informative than hardcore feminist theory.
Accounts on the Site
We want to start a 'get an account' function on the webpage. We won't charge for membership; we want it to just be a way of showing off your motorsport street cred and running a specialist CV. Kinda like LinkedIn for motorsport professionals. This is going to require some concerted tech effort, which will probably only be possible in April/May when I've written my exams (I'm busy doing a second bachelor's at the moment, and have more than a full course load this semester, which has been slowing me down).
We still want to have the Spa weekend. Wouldn't it be lovely to do the Spa 24hr with someone on hand to rub our aching feet and backs at the end of a hard day, and tidy up our ratty-looking hair before we head off to the track? Unfortunately, we've still not found a campsite to host us. I even tried writing to the Mairie (the mayor's office) of Spa-Francorchamps in (admittedly rather broken) French to ask about campsites. Nothing. If you know a campsite in Spa-Francorchamps who would like to host about 150 people (Sisterhood, plus partners, friends, and/or children), please email us about them?
Hair for Equality
Not something that's technically happening this coming quarter, but it came to our attention since I wrote the last CEO's Report. Apparently some teams (no names mentioned) hire traditional barbers to give their male employees party hair for their Christmas parties, leaving the women to fend for themselves. For sure, there are bigger feminist issues than party hair. However, we're in the fairness game, so if it happens again we will arrange for a hairdresser (or a team of hairdressers) to give girls from those teams stylish up-dos. We'll tweet about it in a way that doesn't slander the teams with the unfair party benefit schemes, but makes it clear who's doing the work and making their women feel welcome in the industry.
We're really super-happy to have all the new followers/likers on board. Thank you all for supporting us this early in the journey! We hope to see you at events this year.