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Women Spotlight Wednesday: Nicki Shields

Written by Alejandra Guajardo Lozano, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Women have played an influential role throughout the history of motor racing. Many have taken to the wheels of motorsport machines, while numerous figures have worked tirelessly on the sidelines in various roles, shaping the racing world to the present day. Woman Spotlight Wednesday aims to take a look at the tales of these superwomen, who have surpassed various hurdles to reach where they are today.

Image Credits - Formula E

Today’s piece is focused on the charismatic television presenter, and face of BBC’s FIA Formula E Championship, Nicki Shields.

Nicola Shields, best known as Nicki Shields, is a British television presenter and pit lane reporter for the electric street racing series, Formula E. She brings expert analysis, having studied biological sciences at the University of Bristol. 

"My A levels were in chemistry, biology and economics," Shields said, in an excerpt to Formula E. "I just loved science, particularly environmental sciences. Then I did my degree at Bristol University and spent a lot of time specialising in environmental science, which obviously works extremely well now, given that sustainability was a large chunk. It was ahead of its time, and sustainability wasn't a word mentioned back when I was at university!"

Considering Formula E is all about sustainability, Nicki’s profound knowledge of the subject helps her stand out in the area.

Nicki’s love for motorsport comes from her father. She spent most of her time going to race tracks, karting days, and watching the Grands-Prix or the British touring cars. She actually dreamt of becoming an F1 driver at some point in life.

After graduating from university, she got her first job with financial services company UBS in the capital city, London. Shields left UBS, and began presenting technology and science shows. 

She reported from the Willis Resilience Expedition to Antarctica, investigating climate change and sustainability and also presented for Goodwood TV at the 72nd Members Meeting and Motors TV in 2014.

In early 2014, the British presenter heard about a racing series that combined her two main interests: Cars and science. This was the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, the first global sport to be certified with a net-zero carbon footprint. 

Shields has been the face of the electric racing cars for almost a decade, and her fun and charismatic personality shines through the screens of many.

Nicki has been an inspiration to many women around the world. She has shared her return to work through social media after giving birth to two sons in 2019 and 2020. This has helped many women doubting if being a mom who travels and works is possible. She is the clear example showing it definitely does work.

She was named as an ambassador of the Girls on Track UK programme in 2020, which aims to offer girls and women a chance to be part of motorsport. She is always looking to guide and inspire future generations coming into the sport.

"You can do it," she says. "If you want to do it, you can do it. Take control of your own journey. No one is going to do it for you. Don't be put off by what you see others achieving, especially on social media. If you lack confidence, build it up and try to find a mentor.

"Making your contacts and gaining experience always help. So focus on building these up. Start going to race tracks or events. Social media can be an incredible tool to get to know the motorsport community, when used in the right way. 

"Working in motorsport doesn't come easy. It might look like it on social media, and yes occasionally people have been really lucky with the jobs that they've got. But actually, 99.9% of the time, it's hard graft that will get you there."

Image Credit: The US Sun


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