New research has unveiled outdated gender stereotypes still exist in the automotive industry, with over half of New Zealanders (55%) believing men can drive better than women.
Shockingly 84% of men claim to be better drivers than their female counterparts, despite men accounting for 64% of serious crashes on New Zealand roads.
55% of men believe that women are more interested in the style, colour and aesthetics of a car than performance – while women claim performance and safety are the most important considerations when purchasing a new vehicle.
Male respondents in the survey claimed women were disinterested in performance because “it bores them”, “most women like things that look nice” and “they don’t need performance.”
Jaguar is seeking to challenge these stereotypes by partnering with three female motorsport stars, giving them a platform to demonstrate their expertise and successes, as well as show how the motoring industry has the potential to lead the way in terms of breaking conventions.
These three convention-breaking women include race driver Tiffany Chittenden who was the first-ever female to win a British National Karting Championship, Amy Hudson who has been appointed as the New Zealand Women in Motorsport ambassador, and Rianna O’Meara-Hunt who has won a slew of motor racing awards at only 20 years old.
Despite national and international acclaim for their success, these women still operate in a heavily male-dominated sport – with a mere 15% of New Zealanders able to name a female race car driver, and 80% have never seen a female motorsport event.
Race driver Tiffany Chittenden commented: “As far as I’m concerned, motorsport has the opportunity to be one of the most levelling sports in terms of gender – a vehicle has no idea whether it is driven by a male or a female, so we need to move past these outdated stereotypes.”
Twenty-year-old Rianna O’Meara-Hunt supports this notion, adding: “It’s awesome to see more and more women coming into motorsport. When we put our helmets on, we all become equal, we’re all there for the same reason, and we all have the same goal at the end of the day.”
Breaking gender stereotypes is part of Jaguar’s rich history and traces back to one of Jaguar’s original racing drivers, Sybil Lupp. She was the first New Zealand woman to forge her way into the male-dominated industry in the 1950s, rising to national prominence in motor racing and operating her own mechanics.
To help dispel gender conventions still found in motoring today, Tiffany, Rianna and Amy will use their collective expertise to coach Three’s The Project co-host Kanoa Lloyd through three driving challenges, each inspired by Sybil Lupp:
- Smart Cone Challenge – agility and precision challenges in the Jaguar I-PACE with Amy Hudson
- Flying Quarter Mile Sprint – one of Lupp’s most well-known races, showcasing speed in the Jaguar F-Type with Rianna O’Meara-Hunt
- 1 Hour Endurance – testing longevity and sustained power in the Jaguar F-PACE SVR with Tiffany Chittenden
These challenges will screen on The Project, with the first segment airing on Tuesday 15 March, 7pm.
Steve Kenchington, CEO of Jaguar New Zealand, commented: “We are committed to challenging gender conventions so a new generation of female drivers can experience the thrill and excitement of high-performance cars.
“We look forward to creating tangible changes in the motoring industry by championing everyday heroes such as Tiffany, Amy and Rianna, and look forward to unveiling more commitments in this place soon.”