Upcoming superstar Renee Gracie—the first ever female driver to race in the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia (PCCA)—has taken the next step in her professional development by establishing a mentoring opportunity with well-respected business woman Gillian Franklin, Founder and Managing Director of The Heat Group. Franklin will help Gracie “drive” her professional development, alongside her sporting achievements, and will work towards raising Gracie’s profile on and off the circuit. The decision to find a high-profile, knowledgeable and well-connected mentor is in recognition of Gracie’s understanding that achieving the ‘pole position’ in her career path as an elite athlete is just as important as it is on the track.
Gracie, the youngest competitor in the PCCA by almost five years at only 18 years old, is getting accustomed to the spotlight. Gracie is “absolutely thrilled” to be working with Franklin who is a trailblazer for female businesswomen like few others. Franklin’s business is the largest Australian-owned cosmetics company, employing around 150 people, and despite being an industry associated with females is actually dominated by male CEOs. Franklin understands “all too well” what it is like to be outnumbered from a gender perspective and has lots of experience to share on the topic. Aside from Chairman, Ronald J Walker AC CBE, Franklin is also the longest-serving current board member of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, a role she has held since 2000, and this affiliation has already produced fruitful introductions for Gracie and an appearance at the recent 2014 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix Corporate Launch.
Franklin comments, “I have no doubt that in time, Renee will come to be the “Black Caviar” of racecar driving in Australia… even people not associated with the racing industry will know her name. I am incredibly excited about playing a role in such a talented young woman’s career, particularly from so early on. Renee is definitely one to watch.” Franklin will coach Gracie on her career, public speaking, and creating networking and profile-building opportunities, amongst other things.