Porsche Cars GB headquarters in Reading played host yesterday (6th November) to 100 girls as part of the global initiative Dare To Different (D2BD).

The girls aged between 11 and 14 years and all from secondary schools in the local area were invited to take part in a host of fun yet challenging activities designed to develop their STEM skills as well as to showcase what a future career in automotive and motorsport could look like.

The day began with the ‘Pirelli Pit-Stop’ where the students worked in teams to change a wheel against the clock. This was followed by a lesson in life-saving resuscitation techniques with D2BD’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Clare Morden which included how to use a defibrillator.  The girls then enjoyed an in-depth tour of the workshops and an insight into Porsche’s electrification programme and the future of mobility. And then to round off an already action-packed day, they were treated to a meet and greet session with leading female racing driver Esmee Hawkey – including the opportunity to take all-important selfies with her Carrera Cup race car.

Also on hand to talk to the girls were two of Porsche’s female personnel, Technician Charlotte Hargreaves and After Sales Manager, Louise Jenkins-Smith – both of whom were delighted to share their valuable career advice and expertise with the enthusiastic young audience.

Alasdair Jakes, Porsche Retail Group, “We were delighted to host Dare To Be Different at Porsche Headquarters and our Centre in Reading yesterday. The girls were highly engaged in all of the activities and it was great to observe a real sense of excitement as well as a growth in confidence in all of them throughout the day.  Events like this are an absolute necessity if we are to encourage more females into automotive and I really hope that we have inspired and maybe even helped shape the future for one, two (or even more!) of the girls that were here.”

Susie Wolff, Dare To Be Different founder, said: “First of all a huge thanks to Porsche for hosting our event at their superb HQ. It was wonderful for the girls to be able to get up close and personal with the road and race cars and have insight into the day-to-day workings of a manufacturer like Porsche.

Susie continues, “We are working hard to improve the numbers but there is still a considerable shortage of women across many disciplines in automotive and motorsport. It’s up to us to show them at a young age what potential career opportunities exist, especially when they are making important life choices. My hope is that one day one of these girls will say, “I remember that day – it’s what made me want to be a mechanic/designer/sales manager or whatever it is she chooses for her future.”