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Girls in the Garage

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  • #581008
    EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy
    Keymaster

      A forum member reached out to me not long ago and was asking about hiring a female into his shop. That conversation got me to thinking about this topic. What do you think?

    Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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    • #581018
      Lee AnnLee Ann
      Moderator

        Hi Eric,

        Loved that you decided to address “Girls in the Garage.”

        I work on my own car, in part, due to necessity but I am absolutely loving it. I call it my hobby now and I am proud of it! 🙂 There is nothing like the feeling that comes from taking a car (my reliable POS) from a state of poor performance to great improvement. The feeling is like, “Wow, I did that?!” 🙂 Such a feeling of great pride being able to fix my own vehicles.

        I also was challenged by the owner of the independent shop where I have/had my vehicles serviced…he doesn’t necessarily appreciate Saturns the way I do (and that’s fine), so I thought I would help to make his life easier by working on both Saturns myself (since I currently have some spare time). As for my Honda, I’ll leave the servicing to him for now (he is a certified Honda Tech).

        It is a mind set (and a type of therapy, LOL!). When I am out there wrenching on my SC2, I am focused on the problem at hand. I observe, I record, I gather information, I ask questions and I think methodically (My Dad helped develop my interest in mechanics and science early on). This way of thinking or approaching a problem is not gender specific. I’d say it’s more scientific, if anything.

        And yeah, since auto mechanics is still a male dominated profession, I’d imagine a woman would have to work harder to prove herself…but ya know what? If she loves what she is doing, she is not going to complain about it…and that is key. A good work ethic is imperative…for anyone who wants to succeed at anything in life! 🙂

        I am of the belief (and this is just my opinion), everyone who owns a car should be able to do the basics (change oil, replace wipers, change a flat, detail…at least to some extent) as part of responsible vehicle ownership. I will be teaching my children these things! 🙂

        In closing, it is very satisfying to be able to share what little knowledge and experience I have (at this point) regarding certain automotive issues with other ETCG.com users. Sunday, I was reading a forum post from someone having a crank, no start issue with their vehicle. This person, as most of us here, mentioned that he/she is basically broke and stranded. As he /she was describing the problem, I thought “that sounds like a broken timing belt” (been there, done that but mine was a chain!). A couple hours later, one of the moderators offered his suggestion (which matched up with my thought, a broken timing belt-Honda).

        Anyway, I have written a book again, sorry. I tend to do that.

        Have a good day everyone!

        #581023
        WayneWayne
        Participant

          I’m kinda “meh” on the subject. It’s much the same as it is in IT, and just about any other field with very few female workers. There’s one I work that is great, learns, wants to, actually does her job well. The rest, well, lets not go there… I just think it’s over-hashed really, if they’re there it shouldn’t be a big deal, if they’re not, same thing. The only thing that bothers me is the tippy-toeing that occurs, for fear of lawsuits or losing those few employees so they don’t seem progressive even when they suck so bad as to make suck not want to be associated with them. Whereas their male counter-parts would be out on their collective butts looking for a new job/career.

          It’s not a matter of capability in most instances, just interest. Same as what I did when I was younger, going for a job I thought would pay well, rather than going for a job/career I had a desire to do, learn to get better at, and just generally do well.

          Distraction wise, likely, but that should be the manager’s concern on a overall level. Can get the same thing from a few guys that want to hang out more than work, or ones with some personal grudge trying to trip/piss each other off all day long.

          #581098
          CaddeCadde
          Participant

            Really depends on the guy whether a girl is a distraction or not. But it also goes the other way around, depends on the girl whether all/most the guys in there will be a distraction for her.
            And it may not be the case at all if neither guy(s) or girl(s) are attractive.

            The only time i would see it as a problem is if she (or he?) is objectifying herself/himself. You can’t go to work at an autoshop with your hair let out, push-up bra and miniskirt (not even as a male) now can you?
            That is, as long as you look the part and not intentionally become a distraction and know your stuff i would say “you are hired” to any gender or combination of the two.

            #581152
            Lee AnnLee Ann
            Moderator

              [quote=”Cadde” post=91470]Really depends on the guy whether a girl is a distraction or not. But it also goes the other way around, depends on the girl whether all/most the guys in there will be a distraction for her.
              And it may not be the case at all if neither guy(s) or girl(s) are attractive.

              The only time i would see it as a problem is if she (or he?) is objectifying herself/himself. You can’t go to work at an autoshop with your hair let out, push-up bra and miniskirt (not even as a male) now can you?
              That is, as long as you look the part and not intentionally become a distraction and know your stuff i would say “you are hired” to any gender or combination of the two.[/quote]

              Agreed! A certain level of professionalism needs to be present for all involved, including management.

              #581338
              EricTheCarGuy 1EricTheCarGuy
              Keymaster

                This one has certainly sparked an interesting discussion. I love reading your comments. I’m learning quite a bit.

                Keep them coming.

                #581413
                Lee AnnLee Ann
                Moderator

                  [quote=”EricTheCarGuy” post=91581]This one has certainly sparked an interesting discussion. I love reading your comments. I’m learning quite a bit.

                  Keep them coming.[/quote]

                  Have you had a chance to read the comments on this topic from your Facebook page? There are some interesting entries there as well.

                  #581423
                  Lee AnnLee Ann
                  Moderator

                    [quote=”Cadde” post=91470] You can’t go to work at an autoshop with your hair let out, push-up bra and miniskirt

                    LAR1969 wrote:
                    I don’t think a female mechanic would ever show up at work dressed like this…but if she did, it would probably indicate that she was not there to further her career. A shop manger would have some difficult decisions to make or serious discussions to have at that point. If you were the shop manager of this scenario, how would you react?

                    #581451
                    JaneJane
                    Participant

                      When I am working I am there to work. Working in a garage I wear overalls, cut resistant gloves and a pink hat. regardless of this, I still wear makeup. I guess I still want to look good. Today I was dealing with DTC P20D4 on a Mercedes SLK.W172 (Easy fix on the MAF programming)

                      Many Years ago, one of my pals who was a MOT Tester. Told me of the problems she had working in a Peugeot Garage with sexism and unwanted advances. You know saying get lost does wear thin quickly. After short a while, the guys got to know she wasn’t interested; everything settled down. For the most part she was accepted. She did though fall in love with one mechanic. Today she is married to him and they live and have in their own MOT Test station together.

                      Employ women mechanics, female customers prefer to deal with us.
                      Jane

                      #581453
                      Lee AnnLee Ann
                      Moderator

                        [quote=”Inverlass” post=91636]When I am working I am there to work. Working in a garage I wear overalls, cut resistant gloves and a pink hat. regardless of this, I still wear makeup. I guess I still want to look good. Today I was dealing with DTC P20D4 on a Mercedes SLK.W172 (Easy fix on the MAF programming)

                        Many Years ago, one of my pals who was a MOT Tester. Told me of the problems she had working in a Peugeot Garage with sexism and unwanted advances. You know saying get lost does wear thin quickly. After short a while, the guys got to know she wasn’t interested; everything settled down. For the most part she was accepted. She did though fall in love with one mechanic. Today she is married to him and they live and have in their own MOT Test station together.

                        Employ women mechanics, female customers prefer to deal with us.
                        Jane[/quote]

                        I wondered about that…so you have a lot of female customers come through your shop?

                        #581473
                        JaneJane
                        Participant

                          Yes most of the services are for other women’s cars… I have regular customers too as they find dealing with another woman not so oppressive. At least that’s what I’m told. In my restoration work though I have mostly male customers. This is where the money is- high value classic car sales and commissions.
                          Jane

                          #597798
                          Lee AnnLee Ann
                          Moderator

                            [quote=”Inverlass” post=91647]Yes most of the services are for other women’s cars… I have regular customers too as they find dealing with another woman not so oppressive. At least that’s what I’m told. In my restoration work though I have mostly male customers. This is where the money is- high value classic car sales and commissions.
                            Jane[/quote]

                            With regard to the males who come in to your shop for regular services:
                            1) How do they react to you when you explain to them what issues you have found with their vehicles? Are they ever skeptical about the information you are providing them? And if so, how do you handle that?
                            2) What advice would you give to a female mechanic just getting started in the repair industry?

                            Thanks in advance for your response.

                            PS I have been hired as a Lube Tech at my favorite local independent shop and am going back to school (Automotive Technology) in the fall.

                            #635273
                            Lee AnnLee Ann
                            Moderator

                              Hi Eric,

                              A couple weeks ago, I found myself in an awkward situation at school in Automotive Procedures Lab. We were being exposed to electrical diagnosis and were given a 2007 Buick Rendevous with a non functioning driver’s side brake light. I proposed that we start by checking fuses (I remembered KISS-Keep It Simple, Stupid). One of my group members (a middle aged male) quickly dismissed the idea and said, “No, if it was the fuse, both lights would not work.”

                              From my education and little bit of experience on my own cars, I knew that that is not necessarily true. So I consulted with my instructor. He agreed with my initial idea of checking fuses and set the group straight. Before we continued our investigation, I said that we should also check the wiring diagram for this particular vehicle.

                              My group member apologized and of course, I accepted his apology and will not hold it against him.

                              The following week, this same person was in my group. He admitted being skeptical of my abilities. Then he said, “but this week I am following you.” (I responded humbly)

                              But yeah, take from this what you will.

                              I am sure this is not the last awkward situation I will find myself in but I will always remember, “Be Like Yoda.”

                              I welcome your comments on this post.

                              Lee Ann

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