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Mercedes Launches ‘Accelerate 25’ Diversity & Inclusion Programme

The Mercedes F1 Team is excited to announce Accelerate 25, a five-year programme to mark the formalisation of our vision to become a more diverse and inclusive team.

With the launch of our black livery at the start of the 2020 F1 season, we made a commitment to promoting greater diversity and inclusion within our team and our sport.

A considerable amount of study, research and work has been undertaken at the team in the past months to deepen our understanding in this area and develop our culture and practices.

2020 has been a historic year for the team on track, but also within our core values and ambitions. We strongly believe a more diverse and inclusive team will not only make us faster, but also inspire others to set ambitious targets in this area.

To begin this new Accelerate 25 programme, we aim to continuously raise our standards of entry and until 2025, we aim for at least 25% of all new starters at our team to come from under-represented groups.

To enhance our understanding internally, the team is embedding Diversity and Inclusion more deeply within our values and behaviours. We have also begun our education programme with around 200 recruiters at the team having completed Unconscious Bias training, 150 managers completing a programme called ‘Inclusive Excellence’ and all managers will have completed this course by the end of the year.

Every employee will have participated in Diversity and Inclusion training by June 2021 and the team has started a Diversity and Inclusion forum, to encourage input from our employees from under-represented groups – in order to retain, develop and accelerate our progress.

An external specialist, the EW Group, has completed an in-depth analysis of our recruitment and development processes, with action plans underway to reach under-represented groups through mentoring, work experience, sponsorship and targeted advertising amongst our initiatives.

The team is also partnering with the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE-UK) whose wealth of experience in working with organisations and engineering professionals to encourage and support engineers from black and minority ethnic backgrounds into engineering is a perfect fit, as we look to widen our appeal and increase the diversity of the talent within our team.

We know that delivering measurable change is a long-term commitment, and one that begins during the education of the talented young people who will become our team-mates of the future.

So, we have started to develop targeted education initiatives to encourage and support students from under-represented backgrounds who aspire to reach F1.

This includes the Mulberry STEM Academy, which was announced last month in a partnership between the team and the Mulberry Schools Trust. It’s a five-year programme to give young people at the Trust and beyond access to inspirational role models, imaginative teaching and extra-curricular experiences to help develop their passion for STEM subjects and encourage them to continue these subjects in higher education.

We are also delighted to announce a forthcoming partnership with the award-winning UK social enterprise, Stemettes - who work to inspire the next generation of girls, young women and nonbinary young people into STEM fields through programmes, events and content platforms.

Collaboration is key to ensuring the changes that we are striving to make at the Mercedes F1 Team can be reflected across our sport and we are very proud to be working closely with Formula One’s key stakeholders to improve accessibility.

Both the FIA through its #PurposeDriven campaign, and Formula One through their #WeRaceAsOne activities trackside, have launched campaigns this season to widen the appeal and accessibility of Formula One.

This year, The Hamilton Commission was set up by our seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton, alongside The Royal Academy of Engineering, with the aim to identify the key barriers to recruitment and progression of Black people in UK motorsport and provide actional recommendations to overcome them.

The Commission will be a key source of inspiration, knowledge and support for the team. Both Dr Nike Folayan MBE, Chair of the AFBE-UK, and Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, Co-founder of the Stemettes are two of the newly appointed Commissioners on the Board of The Hamilton Commission.

Toto Wolff, CEO and Team Principal of the Mercedes F1 Team, said: “Before the start of this Formula One season, we made a commitment to use our global platform in Formula One to make a difference to the world around us through a carefully considered Diversity and Inclusion programme.

“Our legacy off the track is just as important to this team as the success that we have achieved with our historic seventh consecutive World Championship this year. We have a real opportunity to drive the change that we all want to see in our sport through strengthening an inclusive and diverse culture at our team and using our platform to take that thinking beyond just our factory.

“I am very proud of the work that has been done over the last few months to take an in-depth look at our practices, to assess our weaknesses and to develop a long-term plan and commitment to take the necessary actions and realise every advantage of becoming a more diverse team; this is the vision expressed by our new programme, Accelerate 25.”

Lewis added: “In what has been a really tough year for everyone, I am incredibly proud of my team as we reach the end of such an intense season. Not only have we made history on the track, but they have joined me in pushing for change off the track, by working to make our team and our sport more diverse.

“We have made some positive strides this year which I’m proud of, however we still have a long way to go and I know Accelerate 25 will give us the platform to deliver more meaningful change. I truly believe this will have a measurable and long-lasting impact on the face of sport for generations to come.”