Entain launches joint programme with McLaren F1 Team to help women returning to STEM jobs

Sports betting and gaming group Entain and the McLaren F1 Team announced Tuesday the launch of their applications for their joint Returnship programme, to help reignite the careers of women returning to roles in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

While the representation of women in STEM is steadily increasing, there still is a significant gender imbalance, claims Entain. 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,” Entain said in a press release. 

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, according to Entain data, it has become “even more important for both companies to reflect the customer experience by having a diverse workforce.”

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,” she added.

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 specializing in returning to work, flexible working, networking with senior executives, and an opportunity to discuss permanent role opportunities after the six-month programme. 

Candidates who meet the following minimum criteria are being sought. These include those who have at least three months unemployed, underemployed or reskilling; have at least two years prior professional experience; and STEM-focused qualifications or experience or personal interest in technology, data or engineering. 

The Entain x McLaren F1 Team Returnship programme also complements Entain’s existing [email protected] initiative, which helps women return to their technology careers at its locations in Hyderabad and Manila.  

Zak Brown, CEO of 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 have 40% of our employees from under-represented backgrounds by 2030.” 

In December 2022, Formula 1 announced teams for its F1 Academy, including 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,” the partners said in a statement.