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From Guest Blogger Dawn Battin, wife, mother, Special Education Teach, woman of many hats! (possibly the world’s best juggler)
Fifteen to twenty years ago, I believe the words “women” and “cars” had a different meaning! Through forward thinking and persistence, these two words are no longer synonymous with scantily clad females posing with a muscle machine. Much to my husbands disappointment. Actually, it may have been Marissa Tomei’s character in “My Cousin Vinnie”, but I digress.
Now, I personally don’t know a lot about cars. I know how to change a tire, check the oil, and the importance of routine car maintenance. Things become a little cloudy when more technical terms are used. When words like rotors, cages, or chambers are thrown around, I’m not sure if we are talking about an automobile or parts of the human body.
However, there are a collection of women who are not only car experts, but they are passionate about sharing their knowledge with others. Ever heard of the term “shecanic?” Yep, that is a thing! What does the research say about women in the automotive industry? Basically, in 2018 less than 10% of jobs in the automotive maintenance and repair are held by women (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). This seems a little sad and definitely an under-representation of the individuals in this category who are actually qualified to do this job! We have some work to do.
My overall perspective/experience with cars is related to buying one and putting my trust in others to fix the things that are broken. When I was in my twenties, I enjoyed driving. Now, in my forties and with two kids, I’m a little less excited about driving, especially in the snow. My focused changed from having something sporty and flashy to having something dependable that I can keep long enough to give to my oldest child when it is time for her to drive. I continue to work on fighting the stereotype that women are inferior drivers to men (sorry, but I think I am a better driver than my husband!).
My hope for the future is that my own daughters will know more than I do about cars. They will feel encouraged to pursue a job in auto mechanics or share their love of cars (if this is something they have or wish to do). Maybe they will want to work with Beau at the SEMA Show and sale window film and truck bed liners.
Also, I consulted my daughter’s orthodontist (also a female) about her view on cars. She shared she isn’t car person, but now that she is close to her fifties, she chose to buy a car that would be fun to drive (a convertible, even in the middle of an Indiana winter). So, there is hope that my perspective on driving and cars may change as well.