By INDYCAR | Published: May 16, 2018
Katie Hargitt woke up one morning earlier this year and realized there was no time like the present.
Hargitt has been in motorsports for 18 years, first as a short-track open-wheel driver and now as an NBCSN reporter on Verizon IndyCar Series telecasts, She often wondered how she could help to find a path for more young women to work in the world of racing, especially in the engineering, mechanical and business side of the sport.
“A few months ago, I woke up, and I thought: ‘This is the year of the woman. We can’t miss this opportunity to bring out young women, empower young women to achieve their dreams and show them all the successful women in the Verizon IndyCar Series paddock.’”
“Fuel the Female” was born. The new group aims to empower young women to pursue careers in motorsports and other science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-related industries. Fuel the Female’s inaugural event took place Tuesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with 60 Indianapolis Public Schools female students visiting the track for the day and learning more about the exciting world of motorsports.
A variety of women with prominent careers in motorsports spoke to the girls in the North Chalet and the Firestone Suite at the track, sharing their experiences and encouragement about a career in racing, including Indianapolis 500 driver Danica Patrick; Kate Gundlach, assistant engineer for Chip Ganassi Racing; Cara Adams, chief engineer for Firestone Racing; Jessica Mace, mechanic at Andretti Autosport; and Lisa Boggs, Bridgestone Americas director of motorsports.
As the organization grows, Hargitt hopes Fuel the Female will serve as a door for an exciting new world for young women.
“As a reporter, so many times I see young girls up against the fence, looking for someone that looks like them in pit lane,” Hargitt said. “And there’s only a few of them. So I hope that girls come out to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway or they come into a Fuel the Female program and it lights a fire in them and a passion in them for motorsports so that we can grow that few into an army.”
Visit fuelthefemale.org to learn more about Fuel the Female, to join the foundation.
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