A 17-year-old youth activist has become the Chief Executive Officer of luxury supercar maker McLaren Automotive for the day to celebrate International Day of the Girl and encourage young people, and particularly young women, into science and engineering careers.
Maisy, from Wales, took over the reins from McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt, as part of McLaren Automotive’s long-term partnership with global children’s rights charity Plan International.
It comes as McLaren highlights Plan International’s new research* today showing that 1 in 4 (25%) girls aged 11 to 18 have wanted to try out a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subject or job but have either been told it is for boys, were worried about being negatively judged, or were unsure since they only saw boys doing it in the media.
It also showed that nearly half of girls (47%) have heard through media, friends, or family that ‘girls are not good at STEM’.
“My day as CEO of McLaren Automotive was full of incredible moments but being part of building a supercar was amazing, and that’s not something many people can say.
“Plan International is about smashing stereotypes, changing attitudes, and unlearning lessons because a lot of girls think they should be playing with dolls and not cars, and that’s not right.
“This partnership between McLaren Automotive and Plan International is inspiring young women to consider STEM careers and achieve their full potential.”
Maisy, CEO for the day, McLaren Automotive
Maisy started the day with a handover from CEO Mike Flewitt, where he presented her with CEO business cards and her McLaren CEO access pass.
The day included leading her executive team in strategic decisions as well as collaborating with many of the company’s female business leaders, engineers, scientists, and designers.
CEO Maisy gained an understanding of every aspect of the process of designing, engineering, building and marketing supercars and helped to hand-build a McLaren, including putting on the all-important McLaren badge as the finishing touch to one of the company’s new hybrid supercars, the McLaren Artura.
Maisy also met brand ambassador Amanda McLaren, daughter of company founder Bruce McLaren, at a new “McLaren: Driven by Design” exhibition at Brooklands Museum which features a full-scale LEGO 720S supercar, before having a CEO preview of some of McLaren’s top-secret future supercar designs and a passenger test run in a McLaren GT.
“Having Maisy take over as CEO of McLaren for the day to celebrate International Day of the Girl has been both an enjoyable and valuable experience for me and the whole McLaren team. Her ideas, insights and intelligence – as well as clear passion – will help us move forwards even faster on our efforts to achieve even greater diversity and inclusion.
“Maisy also got to see the incredibly exciting and diverse range of talents we depend on to produce our supercars and I hope, in the process, she has helped to dispel stereotypes associated with the automotive industry from a gender and skills perspective.
“Our work with Plan International is for the long-term and I’m delighted that one of the key decisions Maisy led on as CEO was our pledge to work with Plan International on McLaren’s commitment to holding workshops with 100 girls over the next 12 months, scaling up to 1000 globally by 2025 to encourage greater take-up of STEM careers. That is a legacy Maisy and everyone at McLaren can be very proud of.”
Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive.
About Plan International:
Plan International is a global children’s charity. We work to give every child the same chance in life.
In every child there’s a spark of imagination, curiosity, and ambition. But not every child is born with the same opportunities.
When you face poverty or violence the odds are stacked against you. When you’re a girl it’s even harder to be safe, in school and in charge of your body.
All children deserve an education, health care and clean water. All children deserve the chance to thrive.
We’re fighting so every child, especially every girl, knows their value. We’re fighting so the communities they’re growing up in – and the world around them – value them too.
And if disaster strikes we’re there to protect children, keep them learning and help them recover.
About McLaren Automotive:
McLaren Automotive is a creator of luxury, high-performance supercars.
Every vehicle is hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) in Woking, Surrey, England.
Launched in 2010, the company is now the largest part of the McLaren Group.
The company’s product portfolio of GT, supercar, Motorsport and Ultimate models are retailed through over 85 retailers in 40 markets around the world.
McLaren is a pioneer that continuously pushes the boundaries. In 1981, it introduced lightweight and strong carbon fibre chassis into Formula 1 with the McLaren MP4/1.
Then in 1993 it designed and built the McLaren F1 road car – the company has not built a car without a carbon fibre chassis since. As part of the Ultimate Series, McLaren was the first to deliver a hybrid hypercar, the McLaren P1™. In 2016, it announced a new hybrid hyper-GT and confirmed in 2018 that the next Ultimate car would be the Speedtail.
2019 saw McLaren launch the 600LT Spider, the new GT and the track-only McLaren Senna GTR. It also unveiled the 620R and McLaren Elva before launching the 765LT the following year.
Most recently, the company unveiled its all-new high-performance hybrid supercar, the McLaren Artura.
The Artura is the first McLaren to benefit from the McLaren Carbon Lightweight Architecture (MCLA). The MCLA is designed, developed and manufactured at the McLaren Composites Technology Centre in the Sheffield region of England using world-first processes and will spearhead the brand’s electrified future.
McLaren Automotive also chooses to partner with like-minded, world-leading companies and organisations who push the boundaries in their respective fields. These include AkzoNobel, Ashurst, Dell Technologies, Gulf, Pirelli, Richard Mille, Plan International and Tumi.
About McLaren Group:
The McLaren Group is a global leader in luxury automotive and elite motorsports with a focus on its Automotive supercar and Racing businesses.
Founded in 1963 by racer, engineer and entrepreneur Bruce McLaren, the Group is formed of McLaren Automotive, which hand-builds lightweight supercars; and a majority stake in McLaren Racing which competes in the Formula 1 World Championship and INDYCAR in the US.
The Group is globally headquartered at the iconic McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, Surrey, England.
With a reputation for innovation and technological excellence, McLaren is one of the UK’s largest independent companies.