What does International Women’s Day 2024 mean for women in motorsport?

New Zealand-based company MXLink produces a magazine focused on women in motorsport that works to #InspireInclusion in a traditionally male-dominated field.

MXLink provides insight on women competing in both FIA and FIM Motorsport disciplines around the world. The magazine, alongside stories, interviews, feature articles, and film productions, has helped raised awareness on how these women have faced and overcome challenges to pursue a racing career.

Penning an inspiring piece for IWD

Women in motorsport magazine

Sharon Cox is the driving force behind the magazine. A journalist and mother of three teenage sons, the sport of motocross has played a special part in Sharon's life by helping her instill values of self-achievement, determination, commitment and focus in her children.

For International Women's Day, Sharon has penned an inspiring piece about the intersection between this annual awareness day and women in motorsport.

What does International Women’s Day 2024 mean for women in motorsport? 

That's a loaded question considering how far women have risen in the ranks of pursuing a racing career across varying disciplines over the past number of decades.

Women motorsports

Article on Tomoko Yoshikawa in Women in Motorsport Magazine Issue One presented by MXLink

Taken in context within this year’s theme #InspireInclusion – women in motorsport have achieved massive shifts in terms of career pathways both on and off the track. Most notable are the scale and scope of females who have leveraged success from standing on podiums, to working within Brand/Team environments, to producing media content which informs fans and followers alike about the developments that unfold.

Specifically, women have faced and overcome barriers to pursue a career in motorsport with tenacity, vision, purpose, and undeniable determination to set goals in motion – even against all odds. From women racing in the early 1900’s in bike hill climbs, to competing in Touring Car Rallies in the late 1920’s, to the first woman to race Formula One in 1954, female riders and drivers have remained vigilant in their ascent up the motorsport career ladder.

And, just as the female pioneers set precedent, latter generations of women have sought racing and results in disciplines as diverse in skill, talent, and expertise, on dirt and road. Females have made history competing in World Rally Championships, Women Motocross World Championships, SBK, Cross Country and Baja’s, Trial GP, Enduro/Hard Enduro, World Endurance Championships, Circuit/Oval Series, along with racing new era of alternative fueled machines in all-electric bike and car Series.

IWD motorsports

Article on Keiko Ihara, first woman from Japan to race 24 Le Mans in 2014 Image: Issue One Women in Motorsport magazine MXLink

Within the International Women’s Day theme #InspireInclusion, women have reached unparalleled heights both on and off the track, making key decisions on when to pivot if circumstances dictate change of direction. Exclusion from racing means no progression in career pathways – inclusion within Brand/Team associations are vital for moving forwards.

On closer inspection, women have pushed open doors of opportunity to align their values, goals, and pursuant of racing success within selected partnerships from one season to the next. Not content to wait for the next contract to land on a plate, women riders, drivers, and racers have pushed outside their comfort zone to compete in unfamiliar categories without compromising their integrity.

And, that fact is vitally important. To remain inclusive within motorsport, adaptation to changing economic situations including shift to sustainable racing has prompted women to embrace each and every challenge as the next step to conquer on their quest for motorsport success.

women in motorsport timeline

Time-line of Women competing Motorsport – intro in Women in Motorsport Magazine Issue One: MXLink

From women who overcame traditional societal norms that racing was a male-dominated sport, to females who have proved gender was no pre-requisite for winning on the track – #InspireInclusion need look no further than to the courageous group of women who have embraced each and every opportunity to further their motorsport careers with people of the same mind-set.

Celebrate inspiring women in motorsport

Want to meet women riders and drivers carving career pathways in motorsport disciplines around the world?

Watch this fabulous video created by Sharon for IWD.

Use your skills and platform to amplify IWD

If you're a talented journalist, consider using your skills and platform to champion International Women's Day and #InspireInclusion.

Positive change happens when people rally together in support of a great cause, so how can you do your bit to help promote women's equality?



IWD Toolkit

Join the IWD Community