Two recent news articles recently spotlighted the fact that despite stereotypes and appearances, the auto body repair business is not the exclusive domain of men. To be sure, women have been present in the auto repair business for decades but more often than not, this was in the administrative side of the business. These two women, one a teenager and the other quite a bit older, literally know the nuts and bolts of the business.
The first article noted the achievement of a teenage female technician who won a state auto body repair skills championship competition, besting a field dominated by males. In so doing, the native of Wisconsin won pgslotauto for herself $10,000 dollars plus a few more grants and scholarships as a result of her success. Her performance at the state championship automatically won her a slot at the national SkillsUSA championship in Kansas City. Here, she finished 10th against more than 40 male competitors. This additional achievement earned her recognition from the Women’s Industry Network, an association which seeks to enhance women’s roles in the collision repair industry through education and the sharing of resources. But despite these affimations of her repair skills, she is not set on her career path because of the prejudices she has encountered along the way.
In the other news release, a 5-decade old auto body repair business run by the 58-year old daughter of the shop founder was cited for its achievements through the year. Gaining recognition for the quality of its work and the professionalism of its personnel, this particular repair shop does not make a distinction between hiring male and female technicians. Skill and attitude are what counts for this CEO, not gender. And this attitude has manifested itself in the consistent quality of its work. But an innovative touch is having the female employees wear pinks shirts. Aside from proudly displaying the presence of female technicians in the shop, this female auto body repair shop owner has found that women customers feel more at ease about seeing, and talking to, women who treat them as equals.
In both these cases, early exposure to auto body fabrication and an atmosphere of being close to cars would have made both these women comfortable in the industry. At a time when the auto repair industry is complaining of a declining labor force in the sector, seeing female technicians as equally capable professionals in the auto body repair industry is a breath of fresh air.