McLaren's first female race car driver inspires students at Farnborough school

  • Watch the video report by ITV Meridian's Heather Edwards

McLaren has revealed at the COP26 conference that they are signing their first female race car driver, Emma Gilmour.

She will take part in the new Extreme E racing series using all electric cars. Her first stop from Glasgow was to a school in Hampshire to help inspire other young people to follow in her footsteps.

Emma Gilmour grew up in New Zealand with her parents, who were both mechanics.

After her appointment was announced at the conference, where she met Prince Charles, Emma went to a secondary school in Farnborough to talk about her career.

Emma Gilmour said: "It really is dream come true kind of stuff. I'm still pinching myself, it's just been an amazing week with all of the news being shared. I just feel really proud to be here, representing this amazing brand.

  • Emma Gilmour, Race Car Driver, McLaren:

Emma will be racing in the new radical Extreme E series, where drivers race electric SUVs in a variety of different environments from the arctic to the desert, all to raise awareness of climate change. 

She took her customised racing car to the school to show the children.

McLaren has agreed to partner with Fernhill school to encourage more children, particularly girls, to consider careers in engineering and study the STEM subjects Science Technology Engineering and Maths.

Emma Gilmour took her race car to a school in Farnborough Credit: ITV Meridian

Daniel Gallo, McLaren Racing said: "There is this stereotype that STEM is more for boys and we need to break that stereotype. That is happening but we have a key role to play in that as employers to present people like Emma Gilmour and some of our diverse talent, whether it is gender or ethnicity to show that STEM is an exciting career opportunity and yes, you could come into McLaren but you could apply it in lots of different places."

Emma's first race for Extreme E will be in Saudi Arabia, as the first women race driver for McLaren but she hopes she can inspire many others to follow in her footsteps.