Nothing is better than asking women to talk about women in motorsports. In collaboration with our partners France Racing, we gathered three women writers about motorsports. Nina Rochette from FormulaRapida.net, Dorothée Julien from France Racing and Chloé Hamon, also from France Racing took part in a chat about women working in motorsports.
Let’s talk about women in journalism. We see woman start making their place in motorsports journalism. You are the example of it. We see that women on TV are still in the background [relegated as interviewers and not analysts] either in France or in the UK. Do we actually give women the possibility to show what they are worth of and what they know? Nina, how are you seen in the GP2/GP3 paddock?
Nina: First of all, it’s important to remind that we are not a lot to be accredited only for GP2/GP3 and most of us are women relegated to support series. We are seen as journalists so there is a sort of suspicion about you. I was in Abu Dhabi just before the post-season testing and there is a natural mistrust between journalists and teams. The fact we are women adds to this fact as we sometimes get sexist remarks.
Is there really a sexist approach from team crews?
Nina: The mechanics especially, when they see you walk by, sometimes say some things, especially when it’s hot and you are wearing a tank top. After all, I know how things are in a team as I belong into one. I know mechanics are still quite young in those series.
Chloé, how are you seen during the events of your company?
Chloé: I am seen differently as the questions I will be asked will be different from what men will be asked, although we wear the same clothes. For example, I will be ask to give goodies when my male colleagues will be asked about technical stuff. In people’s mind, a woman is associated with communication although I could have given an insight on the question.
So there is a basic cliché right from the start….
Chloé: Yes, every time. I don’t know if it has something to do with the environment as it happens more in Rallye but yes.
Nina, you were in Hockenheim with Van Amersfoort Racing. Did you go through the same thing than Chloé?
Nina: Hockenheim was the last round of the season so were are not asked technical stuff. We are not here to be asked questions. I know this difference of treatment exists but I didn’t feel it in Hockenheim.
Dorothée, you have been twice to le Castellet, how did you feel?
Dorothée: I am rather discreet so I go unseen. I am not sure I would be taken seriously if I had to make interviews or ask questions as I was in duo with a man. The day I will be confronted to these missions, it will be more complicated as I am discreet so I will have to impose myself and it’s difficult for us to exist professionally speaking.
15 years ago, when written press was more important, we had Anne Giutini in L’Equipe [main French newspaper about sports]. We have women journalists who have a reputation but who sometimes are infamous. Since there is less women in written press, the image takes over and it’s more difficult for women professionally. It should be the other way round but it’s complicated.
Translated from French