NASCAR driver Julia Landauer has no intention of slowing down on the track and off the track. In 2016, Landauer drove her first full season NASCAR K&N Pro series to complete the fourth integral – the highest level of women’s drivers in this series history. Recently, Landauer partnered with the TechForce foundation’s FutureTech Success Initiative to become a future tech Success ambassador dedicated to helping young people engage in transportation technology careers. As the only woman to be invited to the 2016 NASCAR Next project from the age of 10, Landauer continues to show that social restrictions on women are like racing records: broken.
Carrie hammer: what is some of the most important things that you have learned to build your career and brand in this male-dominated sport?
Julia Landauer: one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is about authenticity, really having you. As a b0 female racer from New York City, I got a lot of advice when I started talking about something different from me. I find myself trying to avoid being angry or upset. To be honest, I basically introduced myself to the world as a bore. When I am on the TV show “survivors” (Survivor), I find it is really very uncomfortable, I have my way, and how do I forward into the exhibition, but over the export of boring editor and I. There is a monologue about how I am vanilla, which is bad for vanilla. Watching national TV programs in front of eight million people is a terrible thing.
It was painful, but I did a lot of introspection and research. I spent a lot of time asking: what do I identify with? What do friends like about me? How do I translate these things to the public? It took a long time, I was still refining, but I was learning to speak to me in a real way. Now, I’m taking a tougher stance on social issues – commenting on Harvey weinstein’s case and commenting on the violence we’ve seen. I am more and more comfortable with the fact that I may be angry with some people, and what I say may resonate with many people as well.
The other thing that I’m learning is how to have my personal femininity as I strive for respect. I think women often have to prove themselves to their people. It’s a very good life lesson, but it’s an extra energy and time to try to reach the basic level of respect that many men seem to get.
Hammer: what is your definition of success?
Randalls: from a professional point of view, my idea of success is the ability to let his racing vivid, win all levels, and have a platform to promote STEM education and all sorts of things such as publicity and giving women power.
On a personal level, for me, success comes down to knowing that I have done everything I can to achieve my goals as much as possible, while gaining experience and motivating others. This can be applied to anything. To be able to look back at your life without regretting the way you achieve your goals is a success.
Hammer: it’s important to be your role model.
Randall: when I grew up, I was very lucky that my parents were not only very supportive, but also actively helping me and my brothers and sisters discover our dreams and realize their dreams. We have a very good support system. We all grow up with strong men and women around us, which makes it seem like anything is possible. My mother is a lawyer, so I grew up thinking that all women are lawyers.
I thought of what Gina Davis had said – if she could see it, she knew she could do it. I think it’s true, especially for our role models. If we can’t imagine what we’re doing, it’s hard to pursue and get the support of others. I think it’s important for me to show a part of myself and my journey – which ones are valid and which are unsuccessful to help others. I was very primitive and honest in my public speaking engagements. I don’t mince words. I gave the audience a line of pants: “hey, we face this, but we can get over it.” If someone who doesn’t have the support system I grew up with can take what I say and grow up on the stage, it’s very powerful.
Hammer: given your sports and industry’s high risk and stress, what have you done to stay grounded and balanced?
Landauer: it’s important for me to have a core support group. Who would give me honest feedback, who wouldn’t be afraid to tell me what I needed to hear to really help. I do some physical exertion in order to make the heart beat faster and get some energy out of it.
Of course, make time. Constant productivity is I don’t know much about our culture. It’s not how our brains or our bodies work. It is very important to respect our brains and our bodies, to make them take vacations.
Hammer: you ‘re doing a lot of interesting work with STEM. What makes you excited and optimistic about the job? How are we doing in these areas, especially women who are interested in these areas?
Landauer: my sport is a technology-focused movement, and many aspects of STEM are very relevant to what I love to do. I’ve found that it’s exciting to have a STEM degree or knowledge (beyond what many people think) extend to boys, especially girls and girls. Those adolescents are critical to developing self-confidence and finding something exciting and valuable. The more optimistic we are about a STEM occupation, the more likely we are to keep people interested in the early days.
One of the things I’ve always been excited about in STEM work is how to make the car industry greener. This is what I want to continue to work in my post-driving career. I can see the overlap between modern silicon valley technology and green energy and even cars.
Hammer: what do you like, your racing car and car tech community?
Landauer: I really like this intensity. I really love the emotional drive of racing cars. I like all of us in the same boat, have to spell it into an incredibly complex 3 d puzzles: car must be perfect, the driver must be perfect, the team must be perfect, the team must be perfect, all of the devices will be perfect. All this needs to be done in two to four hours of competition. Everyone’s work has incredible complexity. That’s what I think NASCAR is just a bunch of people walking around in their image. No one is not smart enough to drive or work in that car.
In my opinion, this is the ultimate collaborative effort. It’s like building a company. You are part of this great thing, and only so many people can do it. Not everyone can be a racing driver, just like not everyone can be a great basketball player. Know that there are only 40 top professional NASCAR drivers in the world to say ‘wow! That is all right. That’s what I’m trying to be. It’s exciting. This is humility.