Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team implemented the Accelerate 25 programme in December 2020 with the intention of enhancing the diversity of the team, with the objective to have over 25 percent of new team members come from under-represented groups over the programme’s five year span. After one year since the programme’s inception, Mercedes reviewed their progress and found that 35 percent of permanent and fixed-term team members that joined in 2021 represent these groups– an advancement the team is pleased with.
Overall, the percentage of female employees increased from 12 to 14 percent while minority ethnic groups saw an increase from 3 to 6 percent. Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team Principal and CEO Toto Wolff said that this progress is only the beginning for the team’s long-term vision.
“To see a small but significant increase in our numbers of team members from under-represented groups is a sign that we are making progress, however we remain acutely conscious that this is a long-term commitment and look forward to building on those initial steps.”
Several initiatives were implemented through the Accelerate 25 programme, many with the aim of improving awareness within the team and allowing for further understanding as related to the programme’s objectives. These initiatives include the formation of a Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Forum made up of 25 team volunteers from a variety of under-represented groups, a team-wide inclusion workshop, several internal networking events, the improvement of employee benefits and more.
A key partnership with Mulberry Schools Trust has allowed the team to encourage more students to cultivate their passion for STEM through the Mulberry STEM Academy. The specialized programme gave 24 Year 10 students and 24 Year 12 students the opportunity to learn and receive guidance from the team.
“In the first year of our Accelerate 25 programme, we have made promising progress to develop a more diverse and inclusive team. Through detailed internal scrutiny and with the guidance of our excellent partners, we have been able to take the first steps on our journey in enabling access to STEM education and careers and building a pipeline of talent who we hope may consider joining us in the future,” Wolff said.
Partnerships between the team and several organisations aim to allow for more opportunity for young talents from under-represented groups to enter technical careers. Among these organizations are the Stemettes, who partnered with the team to offer mentorship programmes for young women and non-binary people who aspire to a career in STEM, and The Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers UK, who supported the team in the review of recruitment practices and the creation of networking events.
The team also announced their membership in the Business Disability Forum, which will help the team identify and rectify accessibility issues through the Disability Smart Audit during the first quarter of 2022 and support the team in their efforts to become a Disability Confident employer.
“As we look back on our first full year of Accelerate 25, I feel very proud of the enthusiastic engagement of so many of our team-mates who have volunteered their time to support training, workshops, networking, mentoring and various other events. The team have enthusiastically grasped the opportunity to learn and reach out to engage with under-represented groups helping to inspire and encourage them to consider STEM careers,” Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team Chief People Officer Paul Mills said.
“We all continue to benefit from working alongside our fantastic partners at the Mulberry Schools Trust, the Stemettes, AFBE-UK and EW Group. It is so rewarding to hear the feedback from the students and young people that we have worked alongside this year and to witness their passion for learning. Whilst we have made a good start, there is still much to do, and this is only the beginning of our journey to make our team and our sport more inclusive and diverse.”