Dane critical of Supercars’ female representation at high level

Roland Dane

Former Triple Eight Race Engineering boss Roland Dane has criticised Supercars for its lack of gender diversity at the upper echelon in the wake of International Women’s Day.

Yesterday, Supercars and its teams acknowledged the efforts of women working in the championship.

Historically, motorsport has been a largely male-dominated industry. With the exception of a few seasons, the Supercars grid has been entirely made up of men.

There are, however, women in positions of power behind the scenes in the Supercars paddock.

Among them is Dane’s daughter Jessica, who co-owns Triple Eight Race Engineering.

Betty Klimenko founded Erebus Motorsport, whose managing director is Shannen Kiely.

Supercars’ broadcast is fronted by Jessica Yates and is produced by Briony Ingerson.

Riana Crehan is a familiar face in front of the camera in the pit lane, with the likes of Molly Taylor and Charli Robinson having been pit lane reporters last year too.

Tracy Woodbry heads up Supercars’ corporate division.

Last week, Supercars confirmed team owners Ryan Walkinshaw and Stephen Grove would join the Supercars board.

The board consists of chairman Barclay Nettlefold, six-time Bathurst 1000 winner Mark Skaife, Henslow director Stephen Macaw, as well as the Australian Racing Group’s John McMellan and Barry Rogers.

Taking to Instagram, Dane criticised Supercars for its lack of female representation at a board and commission level.

“Yesterday was International Women’s Day and both the FIA and Motorsport Australia acknowledged this with strong story lines about their respective efforts to increase female participation at all levels in what is very much still a male dominated sport,” Dane wrote on Instagram.

“And Supercars Australia? Zilch, nothing, nada. Not even an acknowledgement, let alone a story about the women that are involved at various levels with the category, from the biggest player in Australian motorsports.

“Unfortunately, this reflects the new Board and mentality of Supercars under the Chairmanship of Barclay Nettlefold and ownership of the RACE consortium. An entirely male Commission reporting to an entirely male Board does nothing for gender diversification in a sport that urgently needs to promote this and be proactive.

“Every other major sport in Australia has some level of female participation in its structure – as does Motorsport Australia as the local governing body – but Supercars had a great opportunity, under new ownership, to embrace gender diversity and blew it.

“If it wasn’t so serious, it would be laughable.”

It should be noted Supercars and several of its teams acknowledged International Women’s Day via social media, despite Dane’s comments that there was no acknowledgement.

Supercars.com journalist Charlie Bullis documented Crehan’s return to the pit lane after a year on the sidelines.

Similarly, Supercars took to Instagram with a series of images – one including Roland and Jessica Dane – showcasing women in the sport.

Erebus Motorsport and Team 18 also acknowledged International Women’s Day on its social media platforms.

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