29-year-old Michelle Sophie Getting is a Danish racing driver who has competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the past four years. During her career, she has faced sexism several times in competitions.
“There were specific moments where I had to step up and do things that maybe a woman wouldn’t normally do. I had to fight to get respect,” Gatting told the BBC.
The Dane remembers her first steps in motorsport, when she had not yet achieved success and recognition. Sometimes there was literally a need to clench fists and fight.
“My dad taught me that they [konkurentiem] you need to pay back,” said Gettinga, recalling the incident with a Swedish racing driver who kept pushing her off the karting track.
“I had to find this guy. And from then on, he understood,” Gettinga said, noting that the fight earned her respect among her competitors.
The Danish racing driver soon came to the conclusion that this could not continue. “I thought I can’t go on like this. People were talking – she’s crazy, she’s going to fight.”
“I was probably one of the scariest drivers out there. People were scared of me, but they didn’t push me off the track anymore. That’s basically how I got respect.”