Entain, the global sports betting, gaming and interactive entertainment group, and the McLaren F1 Team, are today launching applications for their joint Returnship programme, to help reignite the careers of women returning to roles in STEM.
While the representation of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is steadily increasing , there remains a significant gender imbalance – in the UK, just 26% of STEM graduates are women, and only 24% of the STEM workforce are women. There is an urgent need to change the perceptions of careers in STEM, open more opportunities for women to pursue careers in the field, and help both women and men thrive equally in STEM.
As 26% of sports bettors globally are now female, and F1 continues to experience a rise in female fans, with approximately 40% of fans now female, it has become even more important for both companies to reflect the customer experience by having a diverse workforce. The Returnship programme is another step in the right direction to making this change.
Jette Nygaard-Andersen, Entain CEO, said: “The fusion of technology, sport and entertainment, and desire to support talented women re-entering the workforce meant that launching this brand-new programme with our partner, McLaren, is an obvious step. We share a passion and commitment for giving women a platform to reignite their careers in STEM and hope that through this programme, we not only support a generation of ambitious women now but inspire future generations of girls to land their dream STEM role.”
As part of the programme, an initial cohort of ten Returnship places will be created, offering unique opportunities and experience at either Entain or the McLaren F1 Team over a six-month period. The programme is designed to suit different women at different stages in their career, with successful candidates being supported by a 1-1 transitional coach specialising in returning to work, flexible working, networking with senior executives, and an opportunity to discuss permanent role opportunities after the six-month programme.
Example placement roles span from software engineers and back-end developers to data scientists and design engineers, with the full list available on the programme’s website.
Entain is committed to embedding Diversity, Equity and Inclusion into all corners of its business, and has launched a number of programmes to support this commitment, under its EnTrain programme, which is designed to increase access to education and training in technology and improve diversity. With EnTrain, Entain has set the objective to positively impact the lives of over 1,000,000 people around the world, either directly or through their families and dependents, by 2030.
The Entain x McLaren F1 Team Returnship programme also complements Entain’s existing Reboot@Ivy initiative, which helps women return to their technology careers at its locations in Hyderabad and Manila.
Zak Brown, CEO, McLaren Racing, commented: “We are excited to be launching the first returnship of its kind within F1 in partnership with Entain. This is an opportunity to drive real change within the Engineering and Technology industries and is part of our overall commitment to making STEM careers more accessible to all, and to having 40% of our employees from under-represented backgrounds by 2030.”
In December 2022, Formula 1 announced teams for its F1 Academy: an all-female racing series for younger drivers, set for 2023. Likewise, Extreme E has elevated women in motorsport with its gender-equal motorsport series.
These moves demonstrate the eagerness to propel women drivers into the upper echelons of the sport, and mirror what Entain and the McLaren F1 Team are hoping to achieve through the Returnship programme.