Seeing so many girls who love motorsport in one room, is a weird feeling because it hardly happens in my real life. Usually, I bore my friends with speaking about all things Formula 1.

In December 2019 I was given the amazing opportunity to visit Rokit Williams F1 in Oxfordshire, with Dare To Be Different, an organisation I joined a year ago, who represent and mentor young women and girls in STEM subjects, racing, and media.

Getting off the bus in Oxfordshire, I wasn’t sure I was going the right way, until around eight other girls got off the bus with me.

During a panel conference, we heard from inspiring women like aero performance engineer, Elizabeth Thompson, F1 presenter and journalist, Rachel Brookes, head of quality and manufacturing engineering, Claire Sibley, and chief medical officer at Brands Hatch circuit, Clare Moden.

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Hearing about their journeys to their roles definitely moved a lot of girls at the event, many of whom were heading for a career in science and engineering.

During the event, I had the chance to mingle with the girls, and found that very few of us were Asian and into motorsport.

Sure, you could find a female British Pakistani who wanted to be a medic, or even a PR, but engineering is still not a typical thing for any girl to do, yet alone for a POC.

Finding Asian girl racers was even harder, there weren’t any to put it simply.

With D2BD I hope this will eventually change, as the organisation is not just focussed in England, but travels around the world to places like Malaysia, and Singapore, and this representation is important to allow girls the chance to go into something they wouldn’t normally consider.

After getting my own D2BD t-shirt to proudly show off, I thought about how I could introduce more girls into D2BD, I know they’re out there, because I happen to be a part of Twitter, where there are loads of Asian girls into F1.
This is how I met my best friend, fellow D2BD follower, and future F1 PR girl, Ivkiran Kaur.

We form a team of two girls passionately into motorsport, and while Ivkiran isn’t into a STEM subject, she is into media, and hopes to take this further with motorsport one day.

She said: “There’s loads of Asian girls like us that love F1, but there’s maybe not as much who want to combine their job with it.

“I think it’s difficult with girls in science and engineering, you don’t hear about them, and those girls don’t hear about anyone else doing these things that’s got a name like ours.

“If there was more representation, I think it would help, but also, we need to educate girls that the job itself, like automotive engineering and journalism are things they can do.

“I’m glad I joined D2BD, because I think you have to be the change you want to see.

“I think that the more Asian girls who see this, and join it, the more these things will become normal, and it’s my dream to work in F1.”

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With D2BD I was also picked to attend the Silverstone F1 Grand Prix, where I was lucky enough to meet Renault F1 driver, Daniel Ricciardo, Sky F1 presenter, Natalie Pinkham, Ferrari test driver Brendon Hartley, and many others on what the best day of my year.

I won the paddock pass because I was asked what female engineer I would meet in F1 if I could, and answered Monisha Kaltenborn, who became the first female team principal in F1 when she took over at team Sauber.

This is a huge thing, but being a woman, it is lesser known, but still very important for motorsport fans to know.

The lack of representation is something that as the Facebook community journalist for the Lancashire Telegraph and The Bolton News, I hope I can help be a part of the change.

My work means I get to talk to people in different communities, this includes the BAME, mothers, young people, and mental health related communities.

I like to find positive stories, focusing on the talents of communities less represented, and hope that one day, I can talk to a female Asian racer, or engineer, who realises that if she wants to see more people like her in motorsport, she needs to do it herself.

To find out more information about Dare to be Different you can click here