Time Is Ripe for More Women to Enter Automotive Service IndustryPosted 6/25/2004
By Claire Cummings
I grew up loving cars, which is not the norm when you're a girl. I owned a '66 Mustang, which I raced at high school drags and tinkered with on weekends. I was the only girl in my high school auto class. I knew early on that cars were my passion, and I hoped to make a career out of them.
I will admit that when I first started in the industry at the age of 16, I was filled with fear. My impression of an automotive repair tech was the "Gomer Pyle" type: greasy men in a dirty shop - definitely not a place for a woman. Would I ever fit in? How would I ever learn all I needed to know about cars or the mechanical aspect of an engine? Would I be scrutinized because I am female, trying to succeed in this male-dominated industry? My perceptions of a career in this business created challenges for me.
Once I decided to give it a try, I realized I could make a difference. Each job I had, whether it was as lot technician at a dealership, or service adviser at an independent repair facility, I strived to do my best. Maintaining confidence, staying motivated and setting ongoing goals were key factors in helping me to continue pursuing my career dream.
My experience has convinced me that women can be key players in the automotive service industry. Some of the many benefits to having women in an automotive service position include:
This industry has come a long way, especially in the past five years. More and more repair facilities are striving to present a clean, professional and ethical operation. They realize that customers must feel comfortable and confident with a staff that is well trained and approachable. This influence has created more interest from female prospects. Rather than filling receptionist, office manager or payroll positions, women are now aware that they are capable of many other opportunities in the automotive industry. Working as technicians, service advisers or in upper management, women can eliminate stereotypes and raise expectations.
With the changing perceptions and roles of women working in the auto industry, the time is ripe to recruit more females. Recruitment opportunities could include these methods:
By providing women of all ages with information about exciting career opportunities, the greater chance we have of improving the industry for the long term.
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