Home Sports 2023 Ladies In Sports Conference: Rising Above With Stephanie Travers

2023 Ladies In Sports Conference: Rising Above With Stephanie Travers

Tega Onojaife, the convener and Stephanie Travers

29-year-old Chemical Engineering graduate shared the story of how she entered the male-dominated Formula 1 paddock, where she became the first black woman to stand atop the Formula 1 podium.

“Growing up, when I watched F1 the representation wasn’t there. Until Lewis Hamilton came into the picture, there was no one there that looked like me to inspire me.

He was the person that did that for me despite him not being an Engineer,” the lifelong motorsport fan said.

This is also why that moment she stood on the podium is very meaningful. “Many people don’t see what goes on behind the scenes. I wanted to make my role known to young people. Not to inspire them to be like me and to go into motorsport, but to inspire them to find their passion, because if you go into a role that you are not passionate about, you are going to have a terrible time.”

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Stephanie Travers

After spending three years working with the Mercedes F1 team, Travers is currently the deputy team principal of Hamilton’s Extreme E team X44 Vida Carbon Racing. Her ultimate dream is to become a Team Principal in Formula 1. Travers never let the fact that she might be the only woman in her role derail her.

“I went in there confident and knowing that I belong in this space without being cocky. I went in there knowing that I will not be surrounded by many females but I didn’t let that get to me.” She said it is important to go into such an environment as a sponge, to learn, and let your work speak for you.

She explained that some policies and initiatives are being introduced to include more women in motorsport. For instance in Extreme E every team has two drivers, one male and one female and Formula 1 now has an all-female F1 Academy series with Susie Wolff as new Managing Director.

LIS Founder Tega Onojaife expressed immense gratitude to everyone who graced the 7th LIS Conference as well as the sponsors that contributed to making the event a reality.

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