The Auto Industry and The Women In It
Many people, when it comes to the auto industry, associate it with a more male driven field. Recently there have been more and more females breaking into the automotive world to change not only that notion of the male dominated industry, but to also bring fresh ideas to it and inspire young females to consider the field as a possible future career choice. It seems though that more car companies are taking progressive steps forward towards diversity and hiring more females. Organizations are aiming to fill at least 30% of key leadership roles with women by 2030 which would be great and a step in the right direction. Refinery29 partnered with Bentley motors to put a spotlight on and to showcase the woman in the industry that are helping create opportunities for young woman considering a career in STEM (an acronym for the fields of science, technology, engineering and math). Bentley is working to become the most diverse luxury car manufacturer by making sure 30% of its management is from a diverse background, this is expected to be achieved by 2025. Definitely search for the post to learn about all the amazing women they feature.
A Forbes article, written by Joan Michelson, hits some important points on the struggles women go through and deal with when it comes to working in a male dominated industry as well as just on a day-to-day basis in the workplace. She also makes some great points by noting that women influence about 85% of car buying decisions, are 65% of the ones purchasing cars and that there are 1.4 million more women with driver's licenses than men! With figures like that it's still a wonder why there aren't as many women in the automotive industry. One thing auto shops and manufacturers should consider is that women buyers have different needs in a vehicle compared to men, so with more women in the industry, this could help bring a more creative approach when selling to women and help to better meet their vehicle needs.
Throughout history we do see quite a few female pioneers who played an important role in the development of some driving elements we enjoy today such as windshield wipers, heating and Kevlar fibers to name some inventions. There's been quite a few women who made their mark in the automotive industry as well as in racing. With history showing the start of some change we also see nowadays that there is a lot of progress that is being made currently thanks largely to women who are already driving change from within the industry. Below I will list some badass chicks who are taking the industry by storm as well as other female leaders in the industry who are taking things further into the future.
Amy Shore, one of my favorite photographers! Is always delivering stunning shots of older cars in different elements and spots such as off-road, pristine in a showroom or driving out in nature. Works of art is what her photography is! I recommend checking out her page especially if you're curious about becoming a photographer in the automotive industry. She has a ton of tips and advice to help you further on your career path.
Annikka Carter, is a woman of many talents. From performance driver and licensed driving coach to working on her own cars she races in. For sure a very driven young women who holds her own when it comes to being a professional racer.
Alex Hirschi, or better known by her Instagram/ YouTube name, Supercar Blondie. An influencer, YouTuber and of course an exotic car fan. Her videos and Instagram posts will make you envious as she tests out and drives so many multi-million-dollar vehicles and even concept vehicles. A great page to check out if you want to live vicariously through her when it comes to driving the most amazing cars in the world.
Emily Linscott, one of the younger women I've come across in the auto industry. Just 18 years old and pursuing an open-wheel racing career for quite a while now. At such a young age she's already won many championships and is currently working towards a career in IndyCar as well as indy500.
Amber Balcaen, became the 1st Canadian female to win a NASCAR race. She is a true inspiration to women and helps motivate them to pursue their dreams in the racing industry, and to help break the stereotypes to bring a more positive impact for women in the industry.
Mechanic Shop Femme, is run by Chaya Milchtein. She is a body-positive and LGBTQ+ friendly automotive educator and journalist. Her blogs help you to better understand exactly what your mechanic is talking about when they're throwing out all those confusing industry terms.
A girls Guide to Cars, is a collective blog that comes from a community of writers and reviews by women to empower women with helpful information, and unique points of views and experiences. It lends tips from traveling to vehicle style types as well as purchasing tips. Overall, it encourages women to make smart decisions in the automotive industry by empowering them with purchasing knowledge.
Girls Auto Clinic, is a Detroit based auto repair shop that is ran and operated by women. Patricia Banks is shaking up the male dominated industry by educating women on auto repair with her #shecaninc team where she educates and trains women on car care with videos, workshops and a community page as well as provides auto apprenticeships to help women be more confident in the auto industry. One fun thing at the auto shop is that they have an option for you to get a mani and pedi while you wait in a beautiful lounge tailored to women. Yes, it is a female ran repair shop, but all are well trained to service your vehicle and can-do tasks such as oil changes, brake repair, fluid flushes, and anything a male ran one can do.
Rudy Akhtar, 31, is in the automotive industry where she works on projects and develops innovative ideas on how to scale up production on the next generation of low carbon technology. She is the Business Relations Lead for a company called APC (Advanced Propulsion Centre), where they are accelerating the development of green automotive technology.
Helen Davock, 48, has been head of Bentleys Laboratory for 21 years and has a team of specialists that analyze the material of any component to better ensure and improve the quality of their cars. She works closely with the research and development department to create new luxury materials that are sustainable. Bentley is one manufacturer who has many women in higher positions and continue to be a more diverse company.
Kudakwashe Diana Oniko, 32, previously worked with various original equipment manufacturers (OEM) for 6 years. The job took her around the world to various automotive plants and professional conferences where she would present her research. She had always wanted to share her experiences and show that it's possible to have a successful career in a male dominated industry, so now she is a senior lecturer in mechanical engineering at Staffordshire University.
Jordan Brompton, 32, is the co-founder and CMO of Myenergi. They design and manufacture renewable energy products which includes the world's first eco-smart electric vehicle charging station. She pushes more women to go into the industry since she's noticed that there are more women than men that are transitioning to alternative fuels which leads of course to a higher interest in electric cars.