Opinion: Why I’m Going to Stop Trying to Prove Myself as a Female Motorsport Journalist

In honor of our 100th article, ATRL, a woman-led publication, puts a spotlight on Immy Cousins’ journey as a female motorsport journalist.

Written by Immy Cousins

May 11, 2022

Being a journalist, yet alone one in motorsport, was never my plan. I never used to be one with a plan either, but when I began working on motorsport content it changed it completely. 

 

You may be surprised to hear I am still on course to train to be a Primary School Teacher, but I am also working on my new goal. I am only in my second year of University, yet I am working two different jobs in Motorsport; one as a Social Media Manager and the other a freelance reporter and content creator. 

 

Starting from scratch as a motorsport journalist, you are constantly being asked to prove yourself, whether it be with statistics for press passes or with previous experience to gain work. Not only am I having to prove myself as a journalist worthy of these privileges, as a young female journalist in a male-dominated industry, I feel I need to work even harder. 

 

I hold my position with pride, but in my mind I have not succeeded until I don’t feel as though I need to constantly prove myself because I am a young woman. I should only be proving myself as a journalist, the same as anyone else, no matter age or gender. 

 

While it may be difficult, working as a young woman in motorsport is an honour because you work with the hope that you can help make the experience different for those young women coming up the ladder behind you. You can be the one to show them it’s okay not to know everything. 

Immy at the Goodwood Festival of Speed with Caitlin Wood

There are women in the industry ahead of me like Natalie Pinkham, Alex Thomson, Steph Wentworth and Jess McFadyen showing me who I can be. They’ve made themselves known by working in team’s media or at some of the biggest networks in the industry. They’re showing the world what a woman who works in motorsport Journalism and media looks like. 

 

With my gender and age, I can walk into a room or an event and no one will even realise I am there to work. No one in that room sees you and expects you to be a motorsport journalist, yet alone one who looks no older than 21. That’s what should be making me stand out, not blend in further with a crowd. 

 

Having been working in this industry for a year, I know where I am heading. For me, the next step is not being scared to show people my work. I’m becoming proud of the fact I am a young woman working in motorsport, ensuring it’s one of the first things I tell someone. If they react negatively, it’s their problem not mine. 

 

I may still have a backup plan that existed before I joined Along the Racing Line, but that doesn’t change the fact I want to be a woman in a changing industry. With the rise of social media platforms as a form of journalism, it’s opening the door for more young women to start their journey. 

Immy with the Aston Martin Safety Car at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

In our recent interview with the women from F Series, Charlotte Lines mentioned the lack of female content creators in the space. “We were in a massive group chat on WhatsApp, about 60 other content creators, and there were only five girls in there,” said Lines. “So it was like, oh my god, we’re literally 55 to five. 

Since then they’ve seen more and more women putting themselves out there on platforms like Tiktok. These are changes that need to be seriously and honestly acknowledged. 

 

There is finally a hint of an opportunity for a huge growth of women working in the motorsport industry, and for me it’s more specifically in the journalism and media aspects. I want to be able to walk into a work event and see other women working. I want to feel as though I belong there. 

 

I want to show a young girl it’s okay to have these goals and ambitions. I’m here so no one coming up behind me has to prove themselves in ways I’ve had to. It’s time for a young female working in motorsport to gain experience in a positive and encouraging environment. 

 

I will easily be the first to admit, I know little about the history of Formula 1 or any other racing series when questioned on the fly. But while I was not a part of its history, I’ll be damned if I am not part of its future. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Immy is a long time fan of motorsports having grown up watching it with her family. Being in isolation at University in late 2020 allowed her to really grow a love for it. She is currently studying BA Sociology at University with the intent to train to be a teacher. Immy has a particular interest in the media side of motorsports which led her to creating F1/Motorsport themed TikToks in her spare time. She enjoys writing both about F1 and F2 as well as the diversity in the sport. You can find her on Twitter @immy_cousins.

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