Charlie Martin is a British racing driver who made history by becoming the first openly transgender driver to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.
With a background in European Hillclimb – a race where lone drivers start at the base of a mountain and finish near the summit – Charlie is focused and ambitious, and credits her professional and personal drive and determination to become one of the fastest women in European racing.
As a transgender racing drier, Charlie has succeeded at many firsts throughout her career, and uses her personal experience to improve equality and inclusivity. Regarded as one of the best diversity speakers in the country, Charlie grips audiences with her story everywhere she goes.
Contact Great British Speakers today to book international racing driver and LGBTQ+ activist speaker Charlie Martin for your next event.
CHARLIE MARTIN | PERSONAL LIFE
Charlie Martin did not have the easiest start to life, losing both of her parents at a young age, meaning overcoming adversity and obstacles became second nature to her. As well as coping without her parents, she started identifying as transgender when she was seven years old, transitioning to live as a female in 2012. Not one to shy away, she documented her transition on her YouTube channel, reaching out to thousands of people with her inspirational journey.
CHARLIE MARTIN | RACING
Charlie’s first foray into professional driving was in 2004, when she started hillclimbing, winning her first race in 2014 in France, breaking the record by two seconds. She soon progressed into faster cars, racing through the Championnat de France de la Montagne and the FIA European Hill Climbing Championship. In 2017, she took part in her first ever endurance race at Le Mans where she finished in third place.
The following year, she competed in the Ginetta GT5 Challenge; in 2019, the Michelin Le Mans Cup; and in 2020 the German VLN Championship – a race that included her first ever 24-hour race. She would becoming the first transgender person to compete in the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, finishing in fourth place. Since then she has participated in the Britcar Endurance Championship and the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America. She is also the development driver for Rocket MB Motorsport’s BMW 330e M Sport and a permanent guest driver for Formula E.
CHARLIE MARTIN | LGBTQ+ DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
Starting her transition in 2012, Charlie returned to the UK circuit in 2018 with the aim of improving LGBTQ+ visibility and inclusion within the sport.
As a transgender woman in a sport dominated by men, she occupies a unique position within the sport and the LGBTQ+ community. Her belief in her abilities helped her overcome her difficulties and to bring awareness and push for change when needed.
“People will say it shouldn’t be a big deal that a driver is transgender but I think it’s important that people in those positions should be visible. People from the LGBT community are in all sports and all walks of life, and they inspire and encourage others.”
CHARLIE MARTIN | MEDIA
Charlie has been active online for many years, choosing YouTube to document her transgender journey, and she frequently updates her 30,000 social media followers on her personal journey and her racing.
She is also a familiar face on racing TV programmes, presenting two series documenting the 2016 and 2017 seasons of the Championnat de France de la Montagne. She has appeared as a guest star on shows including Ninja Warrior (2017) and Good Morning Britain (2019). She has also spoken for Sky Sports and Sports Women, LBC Radio, Channel 4, BBC3, CNN, ESPN, BBC World Service, ITV News, BBC News and BBC Radio Leicester.
She was featured in Vogue magazine and was listed in Vogue 25, a celebration of inspiring women from all corners of the world. She was also featured in OUT magazine, Attitude 101 and the Pride Power List.
CHARLIE MARTIN | KEYNOTE TALKS & SPEAKING TOPICS
Charlie now regularly works with small and large companies, as well as schools, colleges and universities, sharing her story as a motivational speaker. She is honest and passionate, as well as informative and entertaining. Whilst she can tailor her talks to the client’s brief, her popular topics include:
– Achieving your goals – the story of how I became a professional racing driver
– Managing and adapting to change – seeing challenges as an opportunity to grow rather than an obstacle
– Being your authentic self – how I found the bravery to transition and unlock my true potential
– Transgender awareness – a real-live experience and how people can be better LGBTQ+ allies
– Succeeding as a woman in a male-dominated industry
– Achieving the impossible when the odds feel stacked against you
CHARLIE MARTIN | CLIENTS
Adidas, AON, ASOS, Autosport: The Racing Car Show, BMW, Bosch, BVCA, Dennis, DLD College London, Gilead, Google, GSK, Heycar, Kingfisher, the London Motor Show, Lululemon, Microsoft, MTC, Nottingham Trent University, O2, QBE, University of Aberdeen, Xandr, Xbox.
Charlie Martin is an influential speaker and a game-changer in motorsport. Her story has captured the imagination of audiences around the world and her talks have widened the debate on LGBTQ+ inclusion and diversity.
“Charlie brought an amazingly authentic and engaging approach to telling her story and this has proven inspiring to many in attendance, with the programme being rated as “highly recommended” by 93% of attendees. We would wholeheartedly recommend working with Charlie and hope to do so again in the future.”
Sean Holmes, Chairperson, BMW Group UK PRIDE
“Charlie was great, her story was really insightful, inspiring, very engaging and she delivered it with poise and emotion. Amazingly insightful and extremely powerful presentation. Huge respect to Charlie said the attendees – Great way to celebrate International Women’s Day.”
“Rarely do you get to hear such an inspirational and motivational speaker. Charlie’s presentation was empowering and thought provoking and generated so much positive debate across the community and our allies.”
Crispin Burridge, LGBTQ Affinity Network Chair, Kingfisher Plc
“Charlie’s bravery was an inspiration, her transparency & openness to questions and our respectful curiosity made the session truly valuable for the entire team.”
Gary Moreline, UK Channel Sales, Google
“I thought the session was fantastic and very inspirational, a great story of being your authentic self and not only overcoming challenges but flourishing.”
Brian McNamara, CEO Consumer Healthcare, GSK
“If there is anyone to inspire you to follow your dreams with passion & determination, it’s Charlie.”
Katherine Conway, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, AON
“Charlie was incredibly open and honest about her journey. She brought to life the importance of being able to be your full self at work and the performance gains achieved as a result. The feedback we had from our audience across the LGBT+ community and allies was incredibly positive, and she’s certainly left a lasting impression on our organisation.”
Jo Bertram, O2 Executive Sponsor for Diversity & Inclusion, Telefónica UK
“Charlie is a true inspiration. She shared a very human and personal story that was both inspiration and though provoking. It challenged us on so many levels and helped develop our team’s thinking about how they make everyone in our organisation feel included, welcome and awesome.”
Mat Moakes, CEO, Heycar UK
“I wanted to say thank you for the excellent talk. The feedback received has been extremely positive
and has shone a positive light on trans awareness.”
Daniel Morgan, Europe Business Product Steward / Automotive Aftermarket Division, 3M PLC
“We’ve received some amazing and highly positive feedback, Engagement across the business was 96% for #ASOSFOL, which we wouldn’t have been able to achieve without you being part of it.”
ASOS, Festival of Learning