W Series’ Taylor McKay: “Being able to contribute to W Series is empowering and rewarding”
Taylor McKay is currently undertaking the role of Head of Teams at W Series and is responsible for helping the business transition to a teams-based racing structure.
Her role is varied, requiring her to wear many different hats to best support the series, senior management, team partners, and all staff within the business.
Before working for W Series, Taylor worked at tba. Group, a leading live events agency owned by Guy Horner, Christian Horner’s brother, that supports major global sporting organisations including UEFA, F1, Olympics, The FA, Formula E and Extreme E. From there, she built her experience, network and skillset that led her to work for W Series.
She’s now been working with W Series for over a year, after starting off freelancing for the organisation which “snowballed” into her new role. She has since supported W Series to launch all nine teams for this  season.
“If you asked me a year ago, would I be in this role, I absolutely wouldn’t have believed you,” she tells Females in Motorsport.
“Catherine and Sean are so passionate about W Series, it’s contagious.
“They value your perspectives; I have a different set of skills to them, different experiences - a lot of our staff are younger, and they recognise that. We’re part of the next generation and they always ask for our feedback. They want us to challenge our own beliefs, too."
Taylor is more than thankful for the opportunity that she’s been given and relishes in the work she gets to do.
“I can’t express how amazing it is to be involved,” she says. “I’m a part of this change in the motorsport industry and being able to contribute to it is empowering and rewarding.”
W Series is a support race for the seven of the Formula 1 races this year, which has been beneficial to F1 but also propitious for W Series.
“The partnership with F1 was a turning point for us; it changed everything,” she says. “It’s given us more eyeballs, a bigger support system and more credibility in the motorsport industry and additional commercial benefits for our partners. It’s completely changed our trajectory from a business point of view.”
The series has come under criticism for segregating the women and men, but W Series’ core belief is that this is just the beginning of their drivers’ careers. It’s giving them the opportunity that they wouldn’t have otherwise had.
Abbi Pulling had to withdraw from the British F4 Championship due to a lack of funding, yet remains a reserve driver for W Series and has finished inside the top-10 in the two races she’s competed in.
“Part of our mission is specifically to help increase the experience that these drivers have,” Taylor says. “We have an amazing opportunity for starters; we’re a global platform and having that helps us promote female role models in motorsport, above and beyond smaller initiatives, which is fantastic for us.”
There are few females in high levels of motorsport, and W Series aims to help solve this issue. The series is a force for action, wanting to change people’s minds that women do belong in motorsport.
“Once we can help spread the message for greater participation of women in motorsport we can really help with this catalyst for change,” she says. “Motorsport isn’t just for men, there are so many women in motorsports; you just need to promote them.
“That’s not just the drivers, engineers, mechanics - it goes as far as what you’re [Females in Motorsport] are doing, speaking to women behind the scenes and promoting them too.”
Taylor expresses the characteristics you need to have to thrive in the sports industry, including tenacity, persistence and time management. Getting into the industry can be challenging, however by “learning not to jump the gun on things” will get you to your dream.
“The skills that I learnt [at tba. Group] was understanding trends in the sports industry because I was having so many conversations with so many different sporting organisations, brands, sponsors on a daily basis,” she says. “I really felt as though I had my finger on the pulse of the sports industry.
“There was a huge push for sustainability which is really exciting but then all of a sudden I felt more of a push towards supporting women's sports."
This led to Taylor receiving more briefs surrounding women’s sports events and the funding for this was also improving.
“Budgets were starting to increase too," she says. "I felt as though there’s a really nice movement going on – this is the next big thing, women’s sport.”
W Series is gearing up for the final two rounds of the season where its 2021 champion will be determined. Taylor and the rest of the team continue to work hard to bring new partners to the series to improve and meet their current growth and business plan.
But, of course, their priority remains to stick to their DNA of encouraging and endorsing women in motorsport.
For more information on W Series careers click here
Images are thanks to W Series