Ford Italia presents The W Track

L’Ovale Blu takes to the track to promote gender equality in the world of eSports and racing

  • In partnership with Autodromo Nazionale Monza and Assetto Corsa, Ford Italia has created a special track, inserting the curves that make up the word “Woman”, to demonstrate how much more complex and difficult the path a woman must take to achieve her goals is.
  • On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, personalities from the institutional, sports and automotive world met on the theme of gender equality in the world of car racing, both real and simulated, and in society, opening new perspectives for the female universe
  • The project will take the form of the Ford W University, days of driving courses on the track reserved for women, to train a new generation of pro-racers.

MONZA, Italy, March 2, 2022 – Both in the real world and in the video game world, women are often penalized for the simple fact of being women. And this is demonstrated by issues such as the gender pay-gap or the low presence of women in professional races. Despite this scenario, suit, gloves, helmet and controller begin to enter the life of women with interest and curiosity, ready to take to the track by testing their skills, for an unforgettable experience full of pure adrenaline.

From these assumptions, “The W Track” was born, the project developed by Ford Italia – in partnership with Autodromo Nazionale Monza and Assetto Corsa, a videogame created by Kunos Simulations – oriented to gender equality in the sim-racing sector: on the occasion of International Women’s Day, a special edition of the legendary Italian circuit was created to simulate the demanding career path of women in this field, The W Track.

We are very proud to present The W Track, a project that transcends itself and launches a very strong message, aimed at promoting inclusiveness and gender equality, opening a universal gateway to one of the most competitive and fun worlds of always, that of eSports”Says Fabrizio Faltoni, President and CEO of Ford Italy

The debate

The initiative, which received the support of the Equal Opportunities Council of the Lombardy Regional Council, involves various representatives of the institutional, automotive and gaming world in a round table, including: Fabrizio Faltoni, President and CEO of Ford Italy; Alessandra Zinno, DG Monza National Circuit; Giuseppina Fusco, ACI Vice President and AC Rome President; Enrico Gelfi, Founder of the Italian E-sports Observatory; Valerio Piersanti, Vice President Licensing and Partnerships Kunos Simulations; Letizia Caccavale, President of the Council for Equal Opportunities of the Lombardy Regional Council.

Moderated by the journalist Maria Latella, the protagonists of the confrontation placed the accent on the problem of gender equality in our country, starting precisely from the presence of women in the world of eSports, made up of lights and shadows.

In fact, in recent years there has been a significant increase in women in the world of sim-racing but not enough to be representative, if we consider professional competitions where, on the other hand, the presence of men, aged between 21 and 34, is predominant. years [1] .

Gender disparity, which entails an inevitable social gap, is accompanied by situations of deficit in which the female universe is forced to continually confront each other in the world of work and in sports, without the possibility of having a winning model of reference. Furthermore, in several areas, there is still an under-representation of the female world in top positions, with a gender wage gap that seems to have become physiological by now.

Alessandra Zinno, General Manager of Autodromo Nazionale Monza comments: “The partnership with Ford and Assetto Corsa stems from the harmony and unity of views between the three brands on these issues. Associating the name of two companies that have their core business in the automotive sector with a project of social relevance, not strictly anchored to track dynamics, can become a starting point for the future development of other shared proposals “.

Valerio Piersanti, Vice President Licensing and Partnerships Kunos Simulations comments: “We have enthusiastically accepted Ford’s proposal to work on this project, and thanks to the versatility of Assetto Corsa we have been able to give life to this virtual modification of the Monza racetrack. Our Sim Racer community appreciates talent and passion regardless of gender, and therefore we believe that the world of esports can be an engaging way to break down barriers to the female world that have no reason to exist.

From words to deeds: Ford W University

From real to virtual racing, Ford’s goal is to create the most inclusive team in the world of eSports starting from Fordzilla, the team built on Ford’s heritage in the world of real racing, to compete at the highest levels even in virtual ones. and that, at the moment, sees only one female exponent in the roster of runners, captain Sara Stefanizzi (aka Kurolily).

The Ford initiative in support of women does not end with The W Track but continues with two other events, aimed at inspiring and qualifying a different generation of future riders: in the coming months, in fact, the Ford W University project, days of sports driving courses on real and virtual tracks reserved for women, with the support of the teams of drivers from Ford Driving University and the best professional sim-racers. The testimony of a concrete commitment that Ford Italia wants to carry out, beyond the anniversary of 8 March.

The fact that there is only one woman in Team Fordzilla is our fault. We know future pro gamers are out there but we haven’t looked for them enough. It is clear that we have to do things differently. We cannot win the race without even starting it and for this reason we have decided to take to the track by organizing training days dedicated to women”Says Fabrizio Faltoni, President and CEO of Ford Italy.

Ford Motor Company Commitment

For more than a century, the Ford brand has been a pioneer in offering opportunities to people, regardless of race, sex, ability, sexual orientation and social class, creating a culture of belonging that has its roots in diversity understood as a plus capable of generate innovation and change.

It is no coincidence that, for the fourth consecutive year, Bloomberg recognized Ford among 418 companies in its 2022 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index in 45 countries and regions.

When it comes to diversity in particular, Ford aims to become the most inclusive and diverse global company. The Blue Oval Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy also addresses some issues that make up the objectives of the 2030 Agenda launched by the United Nations for sustainable development. In particular, with reference to Goal 5 relating to the achievement of gender equality, Jim Hackett (former president and CEO of Ford Motor Company) shared and signed the principles of the empowerment of women of the United Nations on behalf of Ford Motor Company in 2020 .

The first of these principles concerns high-level corporate leadership and focuses on the absolute strategic priority that represents the emancipation of women for the company. The suggested actions are aimed at establishing company-wide goals and targets for gender equality and measuring progress through clear performance indicators, reviewing the requirements for membership of the BoD and other works councils, to remove any discrimination or prejudice against women.

In support of this vision, Ford focuses on increasing women’s pay and creating a culture where women are not forced to face more obstacles than their male counterparts in their career advancement.

Gender equality and inclusion are therefore values that accompany Ford in the development of a corporate strategy capable of breaking down the barriers of inequality, at all levels. The Women of Ford project is part of this context, created by the Blue Oval through the training of a group of employees who work solely for the purpose of satisfying the needs of women, through the achievement of a common vision that foresees the affirmation and professional growth of women in the company environment.

The aim of this initiative is to create an inclusive work environment that fosters the authenticity of people and social equality. Women of Ford starts from these assumptions for the achievement of its strategic objectives, starting from the increase in the percentage of women at all company levels and the involvement of men in the company, promoting them to “supporters” and “allies”.


Letizia Caccavale, President of the Equal Opportunities Council of the Lombardy Regional Council

I am delighted to be able to bring the contribution of our Equal Opportunities Council to this important initiative. We have in common the concrete and constant commitment to raise awareness on the issue of gender equality. The Equal Opportunities Council has the issue of discrimination against working mothers very much at heart and with the annual Parità Virtuosa Award it promotes all those actions that help and support women and men in the work-life balance. There are and are more and more good practices to be valued in our territory and we are enthusiastically committed to communicating and disseminating these practices in the belief that motherhood is a true social value and we must understand its significance.

Giuseppina Fusco, president of ACI Rome and vice president of the Automobile Club of Italy

“Women at the wheel are nowadays a preponderant presence on our roads and the many work and family needs are transforming women into increasingly present and skilled drivers. In the world of motor sport, however, women are still few. Suffice it to say that in 70 years of Formula 1 only five have driven a single-seater. Those who have competed in world competitions have become legendary, such as Michèle Mouton in rallies or Maria Teresa De Filippis and Lella Lombardi in F1. The need to recognize women equal opportunities in sports – continues Fusco – found recognition with the establishment, by the 2009 FIA World Council, of the Commission for women in motorsport (WMC), chaired by Michelle Mouton. The ACI, as a Federation for Automotive Sport and a member of the FIA, promotes the implementation of the guidelines drawn up by the Commission to encourage the entry and participation of women in sport, but is also committed to affirming their presence in engineering and technical as well as in managerial tasks. Not surprisingly, the General Manager of the Monza National Circuit is a woman, as is the Vice President of ACI and numerous managers at the helm of provincial Automobile Clubs ”.

Alessandra Zinno, General Manager of Autodromo Nazionale Monza

“Inclusiveness and social sustainability are growing values in our company and principles towards which we pay the utmost attention. At the Autodromo, we seek a quality policy and criteria of wage equity based on merit and skills, regardless of the male and female gender, without seeking arithmetic criteria of parity. Furthermore, in the last year we have implemented initiatives that favor a socially sustainable business approach and provide a different image of the circuit also to our stakeholders. Among these, we remember the collaboration with some social cooperatives, the organization of non-profit events and the participation in the awareness campaign ‘The fight against violence is #AffareNostro’, against physical and verbal violence against women, in collaboration with the Municipality of Monza. The partnership with Ford and Assetto Corsa stems from the harmony and unity of views between the three brands on these issues. Associating the name of two companies that have their core business in the automotive sector with a project of social relevance, not strictly anchored to track dynamics, can become a starting point for the future development of other shared proposals “.

Enrico Gelfi, Co-founder of the Italian eSports Observatory

“With the OIES we were among the first to propose an analytical research dedicated to the Women & eSports relationship. If on the one hand it is good news for us – which we confirm the role of market trend setter – on the other hand it is bad news for the movement – which shows that it has not developed the right sensitivity for this topic. And this ambiguity also translates into the data, made up of lights and shadows. What can be deduced from the numbers recorded thanks to the collaboration of Demoskopea Consulting is that, despite suffering various limits and difficulties, mainly due to the cultural impact of our society, the female side of eSports guarantees significant opportunities, in particular on the marketing front. In summary: the space for companies that want to dare more and stand out by focusing on female gamers is there and it is important “.

[1] Research carried out by the Italian Esports Observatory in collaboration with Demoskopea Consulting – January 2022