Mercedes to expands the racial diversity campaign in F1

Alongside the British Organization AFBE-UK (Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers) that promotes the inclusion of black people and ethnic minorities in engineering. The team wants 25% of its workforce to be racially diverse by 2025.

Written by Bruna Brito, Edited by Tanishka Vashee

Continuing efforts in favor of diversity in Formula 1, Mercedes announced a partnership with the British organization AFBE-UK, the project called “Accelerate 25″. It was launched by the German team at the end of 2020 to increase the number of people of color in their workforce to 25% of their total workforce,  today, this number is only around 3%.

Stephanie Travers, fluid engineer at Mercedes (Credits of the photo: Steve Etherington/Mercedes)

“As part of our commitment to improving diversity in our team and our sport, we look for organizations that can provide us with valuable knowledge and support. AFBE-UK’s vast experience is a perfect match, as we seek to expand our appeal and increase the diversity of talent within our team”, said Paul Mills, Human Resources Director at Mercedes.

Founded in 2007, at the United Kingdom, the AFBE-UK encourages the participation of black and other racial minority students in scientific and technological areas, in addition to supporting more than 1500 engineers in the country.

The partnership with Mercedes will include events and work experience programs in the team, in addition to analyzing the obstacles the sport faces when it comes to inclusion.

Funcionários da Mercedes em Imola; equipe conta com apenas 3% de colaboradores racializados, número que deseja aumentar — Foto: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
Mercedes employees in Imola; team has only 3% of racialized collaborators, a number that it wants to increase (Photo Credits: Mark Thompson / Getty Images)

The seven-time constructor champion has been engaged in promoting diversity motivated by Lewis Hamilton, who in the last year has inspired F1 itself to create the “We Race as One” initiative. In 2020, the team swapped the traditional silver liveries for black in support of the anti-racism struggle. They have continued to show their support by using the black in their liveries even this season.

“We are pleased to see that Mercedes is committed to creating a team that reflects the world in which we live. An elite brand devoting time and resources to this goal is a huge leap for engineering. Boys and girls from all backgrounds can now dare to dream of being part of the sport they grew up admiring.” celebrated the organization’s founder, Mara-Tafadzwa Makoni.

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes GP da Toscana F1  — Foto: Clive Mason/Formula 1 via Getty Images
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Tuscany GP F1 (Photo Credits: Clive Mason / Formula 1 via Getty Images)

In partnership with the Royal British Academy of Engineering, in 2020 Hamilton created the “Hamilton Commission”, to identify barriers in motorsport that prevent diversity. AFBE-UK co-founder Nike Folayan is a member of the commission.

“It is encouraging to see the steps my team is taking to become more inclusive and diverse. But we still have a lot of work to do as a sport; there are teams that have remained silent, people that until now have not been particularly held accountable. And I know that, here, I have a better chance of helping to change that.” the seven times world champion stated.

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