From engineer to executive, presenter to Team Principal, ahead of the International Women’s Day on 8 March this year, we highlight some of the notable women and their roles in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.
- Stephanie Medeiros – Global E-mobility Executive at ABB
- Daniela Lužanin – Head of Digital Communications and Head of the ABB Formula E Partnership
- Cristina Mañas Fernández – Performance Engineer, Jaguar TCS Racing
- Simona De Silvestro – Reserve Driver, TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team
- Susie Wolff, MBE – CEO & Managing Partner, ROKiT Venturi Racing
- Derin Adetosoye – Championship Presenter
- Alice Powell – reserve driver, Envision Racing
- Iona Neilson – Senior Sustainability Manager, Formula E
- Manuela Gianni – Head of Motorsports, DHL
- Hannah Brown – Chief of Staff, Formula E
- Anna Rota – Press Officer, Formula E
Stephanie Medeiros – Global E-mobility Executive at ABB FIA Formula E
Stephanie is a Global E-mobility Executive at ABB, the title partner of the Championship. Based in Canada, she has more than 14 years of engineering and leadership experience and has worked on the largest global electric charging infrastructure deployments.
After graduating with a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, Stephanie joined ABB as an electrical engineer. She stepped into the EV world in 2016 where she was put in place to start and lead the EV charging business in Canada working on the charging infrastructure of passenger vehicles, electric buses, and other heavy duty vehicles like electric trucks. Now in her current role she gets to oversee EV charging infrastructure installations around the world. Stephanie is also involved in the development of the charging solutions for the GEN3 cars as part of ABB’s role as official charging supplier from Season 9.
In addition to her passion for promoting electrification of transportation and sustainable mobility, Stephanie is an active advocate for women in STEM and regularly speaks at engineering and women in leadership events. She recently sat on the Board of Directors of IGEE (Institut en Génie de l’énergie électrique) and the Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC).
Some additional comments and advice from Stephanie:
“Electrical engineering is a fascinating world that opens your eyes to the technology behind devices that you use in everyday lives – from the electricity that is generated thousands of miles away to the circuit boards in your cell phones. It is also a very male dominated field, and more women are needed to design the electrical world
“It’s not an easy field of study or career path, it’s difficult and there are very few women so it can feel quite lonely. However, it’s so worth it and fun, so keep at it and find other women in engineering or STEM fields to be in your network so you can rely on each-other and encourage each-other when you need motivation.”
Daniela Lužanin – Head of Digital Communications and Head of the ABB FIA Formula E Partnership, ABB
In her role as Head of Digital Communications, Daniela is responsible for all branded digital content and communications, in addition to developing the global digital channel and platform strategy. She also led the transformation of ABB’s online channels.
Since joining ABB in 2012, Daniela has held a number of influential roles at the global technology company including Head of Global Initiatives Management, Head of Internal Communications and Head of Communication for ABB’s Electrification Business. She now holds the dual role of Head of Digital Communications and Head of the ABB Formula E Partnership.
As Head of the ABB Formula E Partnership, Daniela oversees all aspects of the sponsorship activation program within the world’s first all-electric international single-seater championship. From strategic brand positioning, integration of ABB technology into the series and customer engagement, to communication with stakeholders and the media, she ensures all aspects are aligned. This enables ABB to maximise this opportunity to showcase the latest technology and champion e-mobility for a sustainable future. Daniela also oversaw ABB’s partnership with FIA Girls on Track, to help drive progress in terms of female diversity and equality.
“My advice to young women wanting to work in male-dominated fields such as technology and motorsport is to work hard, support each other and don’t let anyone say you can’t do something because of your gender.”
Cristina Mañas Fernández – Performance Engineer, Jaguar TCS Racing
Holding a crucial role within the Jaguar TCS Racing Formula E team, Cristina has been passionate about motorsport from a very young age. She grew up watching Formula 1 with her dad in her home country of Spain, supporting Fernando Alonso in his successes.
She started her journey studying engineering in Spain and then came to the UK to continue her education and gained a master’s in automotive engineering. She stresses the importance of providing equal opportunities towards education for both, boys and girls. On completion of Cristina’s master’s, she secured a role in a racing tech company and a role working with simulator technology.
Cristina joined the Jaguar TCS Racing Formula E Team in 2017 and has progressed in a variety of roles since then. Starting in a simulator-based environment, Cristina then moved to a more performance-based role, before taking on her current role – trackside as a performance engineer for Mitch Evans alongside Josep Roca.
Cristina’s favourite part about her job in motorsport is that Formula E races on the streets in the heart of the world’s most iconic cities and that means a different challenge with every venue. No day is ever the same so Cristina needs to be constantly switched on to make sure she captures all the challenges that the variety of tracks pose.
Simona De Silvestro – reserve driver, TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team
From a young age Simona De Silvestro has been passionate about motorsport. After receiving initial single-seater successes in Europe before her 18th birthday, she was drawn to developing her career in the USA. Through Formula BMW and Formula Toyota Atlantic she ended up in the IndyCar Series, where she was later crowned ‘Rookie of the Year’ at the legendary Indy 500 in 2010.
She quickly increased her recognition however after qualifying at Indianapolis despite receiving serious burns to her hands during a major accident the day before the race. Word quickly spread of her talent and was subsequently signed to Sauber’s F1 squad in 2014. She later transitioned into Formula E in 2015 racing for Andretti, she contested in the Australian Supercars Championship from 2017-2019 and was test driver for the Venturi Formula E Team in the 2018/2019 season before moving to become TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team’s development driver in 2019.
Susie Wolff, MBE – CEO & Managing Partner, ROKiT Venturi Racing (current Driver’s and Team’s Championship leaders)Former racing driver turned entrepreneur, Susie Wolff, is the CEO and Managing Partner of the Monaco-based Formula E team, ROKiT Venturi Racing.
Born in Oban in December 1982, Susie made history at the 2014 British Grand Prix by becoming the first woman to take part in a Formula 1 race weekend in 22 years as she took to the track as part of the Williams F1 Team.
Following her retirement from driving and as part of her commitment to create positive change within the sport, in 2016 she launched Dare To Be Different, a call to action aimed squarely at driving female talent by inspiring the next generation and increasing female participation in all levels and aspects of motorsport. Susie’s hard work was formally acknowledged when she was awarded an MBE for her services and contribution to women in sport.
Derin Adetosoye – Presenter, ABB FIA Formula E
Presenter and Content Creator Derin Adetosoye is an exciting new addition to the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship presenting line-up, having won the Formula E Open Talent Call for Presenters at the end of 2020 – an initiative to search for the next generation of young talent, which she won out of over 800 applicants.
With her passion for motorsports, sustainability and expertise growing amongst Gen Z audiences, she has made a powerful impact in the Championship – helping to connect the sport with new, younger audiences. She regularly fronts Formula E’s digital and social content as well as creating vlogs over race weekends to her 50,000+ subscribers on YouTube.
Championing sustainability, diversity and inclusivity within motorsports, Derin is also involved with our partnerships with UNICEF, DHL Motorsports and Girls on Track and is a huge role model to many, making history as the first black female presenter for an international rights holder.
Alice Powell – reserve driver, Envision Racing
Alice Powell is a British racing driver, currently competing in the W Series and official simulator driver for Envision Racing Formula E Team, having started racing from the age of eight.
In 2010 at the age of 17, she became the youngest racer and first woman to win a Formula Renault championship and, in 2012, the first female driver to score points in the GP3 Series.
In 2014, she competed again in Formula Renault and added to her championship victories by taking first place in the International Class of the 2014 Asian Formula Renault Series.
In 2019 Powell returned to racing as one of the 18 women selected to compete in the inaugural season of the W Series championship. During the course of the season’s six races, Powell took four podium finishes, including a win at the series finale in Brands Hatch, and finished third in the championship standings.
In 2020 Powell took part in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship Season 6 Rookie Test with Envision Virgin Racing. She was confirmed to take part in the Season 7 Rookie Test of the all-electric series again with the Silverstone-based team and to compete in the 2020 championship of the W Series before both events were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2021 Powell returned to the W Series and won the opening race of the year at the Red Bull Ring, finished second in the championship having entered the season finale level on points. Powell was confirmed as official simulator and development driver for Envision Racing in July 2021.
Iona Neilson – Senior Sustainability Manager, ABB FIA Formula E
Iona Neilson is the Senior Sustainability Manager at Formula E, the world’s first fully-electric single-seater racing series that is net zero from inception.
Iona is a technical expert in environmental management and compliance, carbon footprinting and ISO 20121 with a focus on minimising the overall championship impacts and driving sustainability within the organisation. Day-to-day Iona supports Julia Palle who currently leads Formula E’s sustainability efforts across the whole championship. She has also featured as a member of the Inaugural Edie 30 under 30 Young Sustainability Leaders Club in 2019.
Neilson studied Geography at the University of Plymouth with a Certificate of Industrial Placement, recognising her year in the industry with McDonald’s UK and Costa Coffee in their respective Sustainability/Energy and Environment teams to drive their sustainability ambition.
Upon graduation, she worked for a small sustainability consultancy working with large clients on sustainability communications/strategy/
Manuela Gianni – Head of Motorsports, DHL
From a start in a junior role in 1987 up to now, Manuela’s career inside DHL has been steadfast and targeted to motorsport. Throughout the years Manuela covered a series of positions specifically related to this niche area, which saw her oversee both Formula 1 operations and assisting one of DHL leading customers in the Motorsport arena for their involvement in the World Rally Championship.
From 1995 her main focus was organising the operational workflow of all of DHL Trackside activities in her role of F1 Trackside Supervisor, helping the company in shaping tailor made logistics for the Championship, to later in 2005 as Motorsport Operations Manager
In 2018, following the huge expertise she had built across the years she became Head of Motorsport Italy.
In her current role she oversees the local Motorsport Team and manages the contract with Formula E Operations, for which DHL is founding and logistics partner since the launch of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, heading a Team of professionals which are instrumental for delivering the Championship with strategic targets towards a sustainable logistics module.
Hannah Brown – Chief of Staff, ABB FIA Formula E
Hannah serves as Formula E’s Chief of Staff where she is responsible for supporting the strategic direction of the company and operational oversight of functions including communications, people, sustainability, analytics and insight.
Earlier in her career, Hannah spent 10 years at Sky during which she secured sports rights for Sky Sports, led investments in new sports ventures and supported the management of Sky’s joint venture portfolio. She later served as SVP of Corporate Development for Relevent Sports Group, a US soccer marketing agency, before becoming Chief Strategy Officer for a US OTT pay TV provider, FUBO TV. In 2020 Hannah co-founded a venture focussed on the growth of media distribution and community for women’s football, ata football, where she serves as an advisor to her co-founder Esmeralda Negron.
Anna Rota – Press Officer, Formula E
Anna Rota is Press Officer for Formula E. After joining the all-electric motorsport series in January 2019, Anna successfully helped drive media engagement to a new level, building profile and reputation for the sport in key media titles from all over the world.
In her current position, Anna looks after all internal communications, consumer and lifestyle media as well as premium media hosting programmes. A fluent speaker of four languages, Anna has built long-term media relationships in some of Formula E’s key markets and across the Championship, and continues to expand the media reach of Formula E globally.
Season 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship kicked off with a double-header of night races at the Diriyah E-Prix in Riyadh on 28-29 January, flanking the stunning At-Turaif UNESCO World Heritage Site in Diriyah on one of the most technically challenging tracks of the series.
Formula E broke new ground with those first night races, working closely with the Saudi Ministry of Sports to turn the dream of a sustainable night race into reality at the adapted Riyadh Street Circuit, with the track lit up by the latest low-power LED technology, reducing energy consumption by up to 50 per cent compared to non-LED units. Groups and knockout Duels, a new qualifying format and a first in world motorsport, also debuted in Diriyah, providing a completely new challenge for drivers and teams to tackle.
With environmental sustainability being at the heart of the event, ABB FIA Formula E World Championship is the first and only sport to be certified net zero carbon since inception.