By Juliet Mashiri
Zimbabwean Stephanie Travers has made history once again by becoming the first black woman to stand on the Formula 1 podium following Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes’ win at the Styrian Grand Prix. In her interview after the race, Stephanie was visibly ecstatic and can be quoted saying, “I am very excited. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I am thrilled to have been chosen today!”
Born and bred in Zimbabwe, Stephanie moved to the UK in 2004 where she then pursued a career in Chemical engineering. After coming across an advert on LinkedIn, she applied for a job as the Petronas and Mercedes AMG -F1Trackside Fluid Engineer where she beat over 7,000 applicants to land her dream job!
Having grown up with cousins who kart raced and watching races on television with her parents, Stephanie developed an interest in Formula 1 racing. With a natural aptitude when it came to science subjects and mathematics, her choice in degree and career path was straightforward.
Since assuming her position as Trackside Fluid Engineer, Stephanie travels to every race with the Mercedes team to provide technical support, analysis to ensure that the team is compliant with FIA regulation and also monitoring the overall health of the car through the race weekend. One would think that working in such a male-dominated industry would be intimidating, but Stephanie thrives on passion and hard work.