KATY FAIRMAN: 'Without Formula E I wouldn’t be doing my dream job in motorsport"

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KATY FAIRMAN: 'Without Formula E I wouldn’t be doing my dream job in motorsport"

Championship journalist Katy Fairman has been in and around the Formula E paddock since a first trip to Monaco back in 2015, and made it her mission to get a foothold in the sport as a writer, alongside the advent of the electric race series. This International Women's Day she takes a look back at her career to-date and the experiences that shaped her.

Katy Fairman

Trying to begin a career in motorsport journalism was challenging - no university degree, no contacts I could reach out to and no clue where to start. However, after creating a blog towards the end of 2013, one upcoming series caught my eye. 

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship was to launch the following year, and this exciting all-electric adventure was a fun and futuristic take on motorsport. I attended the inaugural Monaco E-Prix back in 2015 and was hooked. Soon, I made it my mission to write as much as possible about the racing and all the brilliant talents that found themselves behind the wheel. 

READ MORE: Showcasing women in the Formula E paddock

Being an FIA championship, it was also a great way to learn the dos and don'ts of being in a working motorsport paddock; from learning the best ways to engage in a media pen, where to be and when, and following the action from trackside. It opened my eyes, and without the support of Formula E, I don't think I'd be here writing about motorsport as my full-time job. 

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As my experience and confidence grew, so did the championship. Soon I could develop professional relationships with people representing the biggest manufacturers in motorsport and help improve my credibility. 

One thing that always stood out to me when attending events and spending most of my time working in media centres was the split of women to men - and in a good way. In Formula E, I could look up from my laptop and see several women covering the championship and doing an amazing job at it. 

Whether they were also journalists like me, working in public relations for a team, insanely talented photographers or social media superstars, I could always find a good group of women to chat with about anything and everything. Even away from media and marketing, there is so much female talent in the garages, from tyre technicians to software and data engineers. That was always special to me, and those friendships are still going strong today. I also can't tell you how important it is to have your own little hype squad during weekends, too.

For me, one of the proudest moments from my time in Formula E came during pre-season testing for Season 5. During a rain-soaked media day, I sought refuge in the Venturi team garage and interviewed one of my heroes, Susie Wolff. Having been appointed Team Principal of the Venturi team - the first woman to hold that role in Formula E history - it was a great privilege to chat with her one-on-one about her journey to that role. 

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The moment was made even more special when at the end of our chat, I told her I was one of the first people to sign up for the FIA's Girls On Track programme (formally known as Dare to be Different - founded by Wolff). Being part of a community of like-minded women and feeling supported and understood was a huge confidence-builder for me. Also, seeing others out there in various paddocks and living their dream was so inspiring. 

I'm very thankful to Formula E for allowing me to develop and learn during the nine seasons I have covered this championship. I am also very proud to be now writing for Formula E themselves in a freelance capacity.

I can't wait to see what the future holds, and once again, I am so thankful for all the incredible women - and men - who have been supportive and helped me blossom into the writer I am today.