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SMG Celebrates International Women’s Day with MoneyGram Haas F1 Team & Jeddah High School Students

As part of our remit supporting the Saudi Motorsport Company (SMC) – Promoter of the FORMULA 1 STC SAUDI ARABIAN GRAND PRIX 2024 – SMG worked closely with MoneyGram Haas F1 Team – the only American team on the Formula 1 grid – and the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah to showcase the many career opportunities that exist in motorsport to hundreds of Saudi students on the eve of F1’s return to Saudi Arabia.

SMG was tasked by SMC to leverage the presence of F1 in Jeddah to showcase the vast progress being made in the Kingdom since the arrival of major motorsport events and showcase how these have served to inspire young Saudis to consider careers they may previously not have contemplated. Indeed, with 75% of the Saudi population aged 35 and under, the potential for major events such as F1 to influence the future trajectory of the nation’s youth cannot be underestimated.

Having successfully collaborated with both the U.S. Consulate and MoneyGram Haas F1 Team in 2023 – when the team’s Senior Race and Performance Engineers spoke to a small group of students at the American International School of Jeddah (AISJ) – there was a willingness on all sides to go bigger and better ahead of the 2024 edition, especially as this year’s race weekend coincided with International Women’s Day on March 8th

As such, SMG brought all parties together again to plan a larger event involving multiple local high schools with a particular focus on opportunities for women in motorsport and how these dreams can be further realized via collaboration between Saudi and U.S. educational institutions.  Once the theme of the event was decided upon, the identity of the chosen spokespeople and their audience became clear: 

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team Junior Aerodynamics Engineer, Anna Saad, would participate in a special Q&A with Fatima Alramadan at a special event hosted at Jeddah’s Al Andalus International School to mark International Women’s Day. 

The audience was made up of nearly three hundred students – boys and girls – from the Al Andalus International School, American International School Jeddah, Manarat School, Dar AlFikr School, Children’s World School, and Nobel’s School.

 Born and raised in Saudi Arabia, at the age of 18 Anna moved to the US to attend Boston University, studying Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Aerospace Engineering. While at university, Anna decided to join a Formula SAE team which provided invaluable hands-on experience. Anna joined MoneyGram Haas F1 Team in 2021 and divides her time between working as a test engineer in the wind tunnel and designing parts for the car. 

Fatima Alramadan is a Petroleum Engineer at Saudi Aramco. Fatima is a researcher at KAUST- Aramco Upstream Research Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from the Colorado School of Mines where she studied with the support of the KAUST Gifted Students Program. She is currently doing her Master’s degree in Energy Resources and Petroleum Engineering at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). 

The lively and engaging discussion was particularly focused on motivating the students in the audience to understand more about the many professional opportunities that studying STEM subjects can lead to, with an additional emphasis on inspiring female students to consider pursuing a career in motorsport. 

During her visit, Anna Saad spoke about her role in F1 and her journey to this point, and answered the many questions posed to her by Fatima and the students. 

Anna Saad was exhilarated by the enthusiasm of the young audience on the day: “Having returned to Saudi Arabia after a couple of years away, a lot has changed in a short time and meeting students today really took me back in time. It’s encouraging to see the number of female students interested in STEM increase since my education, and it’s important that they can interact with those working in STEM industries and hear how they can take their interests and passions and turn them into a career. I hope I provided insight and advice on the next steps of their studies, just as their enthusiasm showed me exactly why I wanted to work in the STEM sector. Everyone at MoneyGram Haas F1 Team feels it’s their duty to be able to give back and make motorsport accessible, and the event today was a great example of that.” 

The U.S. Consul General, Faris Y Asad also commented afterwards: “Saudi Arabia and the United States are partners in our shared conviction that women are the future, and empowering women in traditionally male-dominated fields like, say, Formula One aerodynamic engineering, among others, is a tremendously powerful way to achieve our shared vision. That’s why we will keep hosting events like this, so we can continue to inspire young minds, like yours, to pursue your passions, with the assurance that there is no ceiling but the one you set for yourself.”