“The extraordinary times have forced us to think outside the box”
The pandemic has significantly influenced the activities of all the FIM Commissions. In the “Commissions Update” series, Commission Directors will explain how they have modified their working processes during the extraordinary times and how they foresee the future.
FIM Women in Motorcycling Commission (CFM) had lots of plans for 2020 but in the end the Covid-19 pandemic forced the commission to modify everything.
“It for sure has been a devastating year in so many ways for so many people. But since we couldn´t change the situation we had to accept it and find ways to work during these extraordinary times”, says CFM director Nita Korhonen.
At its commission meeting held in February, the Women in Motorcycling Commission decided that its main project for 2020 would be to empower women by developing a mentoring programme as well as dedicated education to help and support women to access higher positions within their national federations or in-house at the FIM.
“One big part of this project was to have an empowering seminar initially planned in the spring time at the FIM headquarters. A programme had been drafted, a list of participants and speakers was established, but the lockdown made it impossible to organise it. We had to postpone the idea.”
The commission decided to take advantage of the fact that people were forced to stay at home to re-think its projects and review its planning.
“We still wanted to reach out to people and stay connected even if we couldn´t meet face to face. That’s how we launched the Women in Motorcycling Webinar Wednesdays. Once a month, on a Wednesday, we hosted a webinar with 4-5 high level speakers talking about interesting topics. We also invited some world championship riders to talk about how they have spent the summer and share their thoughts on the resumption of the season and it has worked out extremely well.”
Since many media representatives were not able to travel to the races it was a good way to get direct information from the riders.
One big project that CFM carried out this year was to launch the 2020 Legacy Report focusing on the outcomes of the Women in Motorsports Conference held last year in Finland.
“It was such an important and historical event that we organized last year together with the FIA that we felt we had to take more benefit out of it and that´s how the idea of the legacy report was born. We are really happy to have something concrete originating from this event and that national federations can also use.”
As regards future plans, the empowering women project has not been forgotten.
“The benefits of the diversity and the fact of having talented people in relevant positions is crucial for every organization, federation and company, so we want to pay more attention to this in the future. The conference legacy report is part of this project but we want to go further and we are planning an online seminar focusing on women empowerment as well as educational activities on the FIM e-Learning platform.
Ms Korhonen highlights that no matter how difficult the situation is, you can always find something positive about it.
“This new era has taught us that we often have been stuck with our old habits for no reason and sometimes it is good to be forced to change them. Thanks to digital solutions arising we will be able to use online tools to have bureau meetings, webinars etc. which will save time and money but will also benefit the environment. When the world doesn´t adapt, we have to adapt and in the end it might not be that bad.”