National Motorsport Academy

International Women’s Day

Student Spotlight: Hannah-Louise Reek

International Women’s Day is a holiday that is celebrated annually on the 8th of March as a focal point in the women’s rights movement. This is the day we celebrate women: From setting world records, to discovering something new, women have been redefining industries and making history since day one.

Here at the National Motorsport Academy, we recognise the effort and determination that the women studying with us are putting in and we are proud to support them on their journeys! To celebrate International Women’s Day, we want to spotlight Hannah-Louise Reek. Hannah-Louise is a Business of Motorsport Master’s student, as well as the Business and Marketing Manager for Girls Across the Grid. Read on to see how Hannah-Louise got her start in motorsport. 

Hello! Tell us a bit about yourself!

Hi! I am Hannah, I am 26, and I am currently studying the MA Business of Motorsport. I am on Module 08, which is my executive project! I am also the Business and Marketing Manager for Girls Across The Grid. 

I wouldn’t say I have the most conventional background when it comes to motorsport! For my undergraduate, I studied a BSc in Business Management and Human Resources, as I am a massive people person. I have always been immersed in motorsport through spectating with my family, but I didn’t really engage with it until my time at university, where I began watching races weekly. I started teaching after my PGCE and I found that motorsport gave me great business examples. So, I spent a lot of my time researching the business behind motorsport, which helped me gain a better understanding!

After teaching for 5 years, I realised I missed academic study for myself. I knew I wanted to pursue something with sports and business. This is where I stumbled across the National Motorsport Academy.

What made you decide to want to enrol with the NMA?

Being able to study during the times that suited me was incredibly important for me as it meant that I really could fit it around my current lifestyle. Studying online meant that I was able to continue working my full-time job and did not need to relocate, which was a massive bonus! NMA were incredibly responsive to my requests when I asked for more information, and they were recognised for a UK student loan. Without this, I would not be able to study at all! In addition, it is such a niche area to study and everyone I have spoken to always seems wildly amazed that something like this even exists.

International Women's Day- What does it mean for you?

International Women’s Day is the opportunity to celebrate those around you! It’s the opportunity to get together and recognise how far you and your girls have come and recognise the mini celebrations that should be recognised. International Women’s Day is the chance to reflect on movements in every industry and recognise what is still yet to be done.

What are your perceptions of being a woman working in motorsport?

As a woman working in motorsport, I believe there is still a long way to go to making the sport diverse. There are good days and bad days, but ultimately, I want to be able to do my job without the need to prove why I can do my job. I believe that there are misconceptions, but my aim is just to prove that I can do my job, and I can do it well.

Have you encountered any difficulties working in motorsport as a woman?

My only encounter with difficulties with working in motorsport was when Girls Across The Grid announced a “female-only” Silverstone camping for the F1 weekend. The comments we received were quite derogatory and in response, we made light of the situation and made jokes about the comments. The more comments we got, the more reasons we had to push women in motorsport. I do not believe there should be any difficulties, but if you approach them in the right manner, they no longer feel like difficulties. For me, I like to either kill them with kindness, or some form of humour!

What would you say to other women who are looking to get into motorsport?

For other women looking to get into motorsport, I’d say, keep your head high and remember the goal. You are truly capable of anything you put your mind to, and you deserve those positions. Keep strong, take every rejection as a positive and remember, you are good enough!

A massive thank you to Hannah for speaking to us! We look forward to following along on her journey and seeing what she accomplishes next. You can also keep up-to-date with her career over on LinkedIn – Hannah-Louise Reek

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