Arrow McLaren SP

Play Like a Girl, a non-profit organization that empowers girls to become leaders in the STEM workforce through the power of sports, provided middle-school girls with a deep look inside the technology-rich world of high-performance INDYCAR SERIES racing Aug. 6 during the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix in Nashville, Tennessee.

The experience, which included a behind-the scenes visit to the racing paddock, was supported by the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, Arrow McLaren Schmidt Peterson (AMSP) Racing, Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. and Arrow Electronics.

“Sports provides girls with the leadership skills they need to go from the classroom to the workplace,” said Dr. Kimberly Clay, founder and CEO of Play Like a Girl. “For most of these girls, it is their first opportunity to look inside the technology-driven world of INDYCAR racing and see career possibilities opening for women in this exciting sport, as well as companies that are driving innovation forward in transportation and mobility.”

Since 2004, Play Like a Girl has served more than 25,000 girls in North America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Its headquarters are in Nashville.

The Play Like a Girl program at the Nashville race included presentations and mentoring sessions with engineers and business executives from the participating organizations, as well as remarks by AMSP race driver Pato O’Ward.

The escorted paddock tour included STEM-focused presentations at the Firestone garage, Pennzoil INDYCAR Tech Inspection and the AMSP team garage featuring O’Ward’s No. 5 car.

“Women and girls are valued and critical members of the INDYCAR community,” INDYCAR Vice President of Marketing SJ Luedtke said. “We enjoyed this weekend’s activities in partnership with Play Like a Girl and AMSP, and we’re even more excited to continue and enhance work underway to support meaningful coaching and talent pipelines promoting greater gender equity and representation in our sport.”