Lewis Hamilton and the Royal Academy of Engineering have published The Hamilton Commission report, Accelerating Change: Improving Representation of Black People in UK Motorsport.
Having conducted research over a period of 10 months, the Commission set out to identify key barriers to the recruitment and progression of Black people in UK motorsport. The report was focused on engineering positions within the industry, as they are a major group of occupations and offer the biggest opportunity for change.
"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 and, after fifteen years of waiting for the industry to catch up, I realised I had to take action myself," read a statement from Hamilton.
“In order to do that, I needed to understand what was preventing the industry from being as diverse as the world around it. 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.”
The Commission's research found 10 actionable recommendations were developed to help address the issues limiting Black students' progression into engineering careers and barriers in the motorsport industry. Some of those recommendations include:
- Asking that Formula 1 teams (and other Motorsports organisations) take the lead in implementing a Diversity and Inclusion Charter for motorsport to commit the sector to improve diversity and inclusion across all organisations.
- Calling for Formula 1 teams and other motorsport businesses to broaden access to motorsport by expanding the apprenticeships provision to include higher apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships as an alternate pathway into the sector, as well as availability to paid work placement and work experience schemes.
- 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.
- Supporting the piloting of new approaches to increase the number of Black teachers in STEM subjects that lead to careers in engineering, namely mathematics, physics, design and technology, and computing.
- Supporting the creation of scholarship programmes to enable Black graduates from degrees in engineering and allied subjects to progress into specialist motorsport roles.
- Calling for additional STEM activity support to be provided to supplementary schools led by Black community groups across the UK.
The final report, including the full list of recommendations and strands of action, can be found via The Hamilton Commission's website.