Jo Diamond is the latest Industry Insider to tell her story to Behind Sport, she’s currently Partnerships Director at W Series!
Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?
Hello I’m Jo Diamond. I am currently Partnerships Director for W Series, the international single seater championship for female drivers. I am deeply passionate about working with women in sport, not only on the development of the drivers but also being part of a championship that widens participation for females across the board.
Previously I worked in Formula E, at DS TECHEETAH, promoting e-mobility and sustainability. The role was similar to what I’m doing now but the main difference is that prior to W Series I was focusing on environmental impact, while at W Series I focus on equality, diversity and inclusion. I’ve been very lucky to work on properties that have a positive social impact, which makes my role super interesting.
What do you do in your current role?
My role consists of growing W Series’ partnership portfolio and aligning the business objectives of those partners to those of W Series. It’s about bringing in brands to support the growth and development of W Series.
“Normal” isn’t a thing in sport so what does an “average” week look like for you?
An average week for me involves having interesting and engaging conversations with brands about how they can get involved with W Series and help grow this sport. It also involves learning about new committees and associations that have been set up around equality, diversity and inclusion, and talking to people about how important it is to support women in motorsport.
How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?
I’ve always been passionate about sport and fitness and always wanted to work in sport. Prior to Formula E I worked in educational publishing which is a far cry from motorsport. For many years I was trying to figure out how to get into sport in the right way, and in a position that matched my skillset and experience. I was fortunate enough to meet Mark Preston who was the team principal of DS TECHEETAH and I’ve never looked back.
Can you tell us about a time you failed and what you learned from it?
This isn’t really a fail but something I’ve learnt as a result of the pandemic is how to engage and communicate through the virtual landscape. In the past I took for granted the luxury of being able to get in front of people to have a face-to-face discussion, and I’ve had to learn how to handle some of the challenges around building relationships via Teams or Zoom. You have to be creative in how you use technology.
What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?
The industry is growing, and we’re seeing a continuous increase in investment in women’s sport. Being a part of such a positive change is an exciting journey to be on.
If you could change one thing about your Industry, what would you change?
That what is happening now was happening ten years ago. The introduction of W Series in the motorsport landscape is hugely positive and I can’t wait to see the impact it’s had in ten years’ time.
Sport is a hectic industry, what do you do to switch off?
I do anything sport or fitness related. I play netball and I got into road cycling in a big way over lockdown. I love skiing, although covid has stopped me from doing that in the past two years. I also recently started surfing lessons. Anything outdoorsy and sports related is good escapism for me; it’s a big part of my life and helps me to switch off.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?
Working in sport is more of a vocation so you have to be all in. You need to be fully invested in what you’re doing, and passionate about sport for it to be sustainable. There are a lot of ups and downs so you have to be able to appreciate how athletes benefit from what they do in order to get true satisfaction from your work. Every now and then I reflect on the W Series drivers and think about how much they have been through to get to this point. Without the athletes the sport wouldn’t exist and it’s important to remember that if you’re working in this field.
How to connect with Jo Diamond…
Thanks for reading our Industry Insider with Jo Diamond! If you want to read more from the series, you can do so by clicking here.