Here's How Mercedes's Accelerate 25 Diversity Initiative Will Work

Illustration for article titled Heres How Mercedess Accelerate 25 Diversity Initiative Will Work
Photo: Kamran Jebreili - Pool (Getty Images)

Formula One has stated its intentions of becoming a more diverse racing series, but seven-time constructors’ championship winners Mercedes are the first to lay out a genuine diversity plan. Called Accelerate 25, the team is looking to diversify both its drivers and its workforce.

Ahead of the 2020 season, Mercedes revealed its all-black anti-racism livery as part of its and driver Lewis Hamilton’s push to draw attention to racial disparities both in motorsport and around the globe. The team admitted that only three percent of its workforce is made up of members of minority groups and vowed to make a change.

Accelerate 25 is the result of the research that could allow for effective change. Its goals are as follows:

  • Ensure 25 percent of new starters are from under-represented groups by 2025
  • Launch an education program that requires every current employee to participate in Diversity and Inclusion training by June 2021
  • Create a place for workers to share their own thoughts on how Mercedes can create a more welcoming and diverse atmosphere
  • Partner with the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE-UK), the Mulberry Schools Trust, and the Stemettes advocacy group to develop a long-term commitment to measurable change, followed by analysis on how to implement more diverse change
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Hamilton himself has also launched a commission to identify and break down barriers that prevent Black drivers and engineers from making it into motorsport.

It’s a great initiative, one designed to open the door to people of color, women, and the LGBTQ+ community, all groups that are underrepresented in motorsport despite plenty of those folks being fans of racing. Accelerate 25 makes a nice complement to IndyCar’s Force Indy team, which aims to recruit an all-Black driver and crew in order to carve out a place for people of color in racing.

Now here’s hoping that other teams and racing series will follow suit with a specific, measurable, and attainable plan to encourage participation from under-represented folks.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

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DISCUSSION

AndySheehan-StreetsideStig
Andy Sheehan, StreetsideStig

As the child of a middle-class family, I am part of a vastly underrepresented group amongst starters in this sport. I would be honored to help rectify this by becoming a Formula 1 driver for Mercedes Benz. Together we can be the difference.