The Women in Motorsports North America (WIMNA) launched on Wednesday with Beth Paretta and Lyn St. James heading the effort.
Since the intentions of becoming a full-time team were released by Paretta Autosport, the NTT IndyCar Series paddock has had further conversations about women in motorsport. The female-led and filled team made their debut in the 105th Indianapolis 500 last season.
An official non-profit organization, The Women in Motorsports North America will create opportunities for mentorship, advocacy, education and growth. All in the goal to have a secure future for women in not only IndyCar, but a variety of motorsports and its positions.
“There has long been a need for a place where all the professional women working in motorsports can come together to collaborate and elevate their opportunities.” St. James said. “Beth and I had spoken about this subject on a number of occasions, and we decided to develop a platform and bring in some of the many talented professionals currently employed in the sport to join committees and build a charity to be a place women could go for resources who want to work in motorsports.”
St. James qualified for seven Indianapolis 500s, tied for the third-most starts by a female with Pippa Mann. She came onto the IndyCar scene in the 1992 and qualified for her first 500 after competing in sports cars, which included two trips to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Paretta is at the forefront of this leading change with her outfit that was announced on Tuesday to run three races in 2022. The No. 16 Paretta Autosport Chevrolet will not be competing during the Month of May with the decision to focus on later in the season.
Given the non-profit status, WIMNA will help offer scholarships, internships and mentorships for women. Its core purpose is to inform and inspire women about positions within motorsports that may be enticing.
“We are proud to have such a strong, varied Working Group of professional women and men who have helped shape our purpose and strategy,” Paretta said. “Our strength is in our members and the breadth of their perspectives across many disciplines including engineers, drivers, team management, PR/marketing, track operations, sponsor relations, and event promotions.”