Why so few women and girls?


(Dom Callan) #1

There are 2 adult women who race in my series, both in 100cc or LO206. There is one girl (fast as heck, basically the 2nd fastest kiddo) in TAG junior. There might be a girl or two in the kid karts and cadet.

Any idea why the ladies are so underrepresented?

I was telling my gymnast niece that she’d probably be really good at racing but she was like “meh”.

(Don Westlie) #2

Shoot in Cup Karts are are a lot. Just had 3 girls win features on Sunday. One of which took home the Championship in Jr for 2nd straight year.

(James McMahon) #3

Because they aren’t racing :smiley:
OK I kid…

I’ve been noticing more and more ladies racing, but yes the percentage is still pretty low.

Karting has had some pretty fast female drivers too:

There’s a video of Lotta Hellberg battling with Jos Verstappen somewhere, but I can’t find it.

(TJ Koyen) #4

Traditional gender norms, whether subconsciously or not. Cars and motorsports have always been considered a “male thing”. Women weren’t even allowed to drive cars when they were invented. I think girls/women just haven’t been exposed to auto racing as much. Subliminally, most advertising or media directed toward a motorsport audience targets the male demographic.

I think it is becoming a lot more common, which is great. I think as more and more women get to top-tier racing, there will be more exposure for young girls who see it and are interested in pursuing the same path. Whether you love or hate her, Danica sure as hell influenced a lot of little girls to take an interest in racing.

(Michael Zahorski) #5

I can say that my daughter races Mini Swift here in Texas. At our regional races there are another 3 girls in her class (there were 4, but the 4th moved onto Mini Sprint dirt oval). There are also 1 or 2 girls that run in the Micro Swift at the same regional races. At our track in New Braunfels (Hill Country Kart Club), there are at least 2 others that run LO206 and/or Micro Swift.

(Greg Meller) #6

I think we have more girls than guys in my local clubs cadet classes. If that continues through in 20 years we will be asking “why so few men and boys?” Lol

Onya :+1::+1:

(Eric Gunderson) #7

I think at the moment women continue to be under-represented in motorsport. However, I truly do think this problem is changing noticeably each and every year.

At the local level, we have both young girls and women competing in a variety of karting categories here in Colorado. Several of them are quite talented and beat up on the boys pretty regularly! In a kart or in racing, gender matters little, respect is earned between drivers based on their character and performance, not gender. I think as time continues, as society becomes more and more progressive and less regressive, more and more women will be seen throughout racing, not just karting.

(Nik Goodfellow) #8

It definitely seems to be changing, the micro and mini categories seem to have a higher percentage of girls (at club level) then I’ve ever seen which is a good sign going forward, althouggh anecdotal.

I thought there were some girls coming through (in cars) but the result haven’t really come like Tatiana Calderon and Marta Garcia. Jamie Chadwick won a British F3 race recently though and is a British GT champion. It is still a very male dominated sport and women drivers are unfortunately still partly judged on their looks. I’m really surprised Red Bull haven’t jumped on someone by now, it’d be a terrific marketing opportunity.

Susie Wolff (nee Stoddart) is trying to do more for female racing in the UK with her Dare to be Different program.

I’m not sure about North America, but British racing was a white male dominated sport and Lewis Hamilton created a lot interest for the non-white demographic, I assume Danica had a similar impact here and a championship winning lady would have a larger effect.

(Daniel Agee) #9

I know of several girls in karting in my local area and I hope in a couple of years, my daughter will want to take up karting. I think the reason, though, that there are no big (female) names in karting is because they move to cars and/or sprints too quickly if they are good.

(Blair Clarke) #10

I work in the skilled trades and I get ask all the time why more woman are not in skilled trades.
I could break their hearts and give them a blunt answer but I always turn the question around and ask them this…

If you want to know…“Why don’t you go straight to the source and ask woman why?”

Its the same for racing. People want a female in F1 bad just to prove a point but do you know how damn hard it is for ANYONE to make F1. So if 98% of racers are men and out of the 2% of woman that race there might be 0.2% that “could” have the talent for F1…the chance are very slim…Then add the difficulty of motorsport funding and you see how difficult it is for ANYONE to go far

(Alan Dove) #11

they did with Visser, but didn’t work out

(Nik Goodfellow) #12

Visser was pretty good too. Just didn’t work out in cars, having said that shes still doing ok in tintops.

(TJ Koyen) #13

She was a beast in KZ.

(Daniel Agee) #14

She’s one of the 28 of 50 or so women selected for the second stage of the selection process for the W Series. Great to see some other names on there like Sabre Cook and Shea Holbrook.

(James McMahon) #15

Visser and Cook are both very fast kart pilots. I don’t know much about the rest of the field.

It’s (W series) getting people talking. Which I’m guessing is the goal… people talking, audience, sponsorship, financially successful venture.

(Nik Goodfellow) #16

If they want a female F1 driver they need to get more little girls racing. Its really just a statistical thing right now. I have no doubt a woman could be as good as man but when you have 10 woman racing and 10,000 men, of course you’re going to find more good men then women.