The automotive industry has always been primarily dominated and operated by men…and it shows.
A popular trend since the early Model T: Let the men handle the cars. However, statistics show that women buy more than half of the new cars in the United States, and women request 65% of the service work done at automotive shops.
So I have a question to all my loving readers out there: Who set the perception that men can only work on cars? And, most importantly, why are men perceived as the only sex to have the knowledge base of how cars operate?
This blog is all about breaking down barriers and empowering women. No, this is not the “anti-men” movement blog. I’m here to break the famous quote of, “We’ve always done it that way” and share stories of extraordinary women doing astonishing things, like Patrice Banks form Girls Auto Clinic.
Patrice has a background in engineering and had been working in corporate America for 12 years. She exceled at her job but wasn’t enjoying it. She was always looking forward to Friday or her next vacation. Every day she knew she wanted to do something else but wasn’t sure what to do. She wanted to be surrounded by women who had their own business that were making a difference. As Patrice told me, “I didn’t know what my calling was, but I knew I wanted to make a difference.” She left her job as a materials engineer and moved to Philadelphia.
On a regular visit to an automotive shop, she felt uninformed as the mechanics where discussing her car. Patrice knew this was a huge problem women face today and set out to make a change. After she left corporate America, Patrice went back to school to become an automotive mechanic. Her goals were simple: educate women about their cars, inform them that they are just as capable to fix and maintain their cars and bring more women into this male dominated industry.
Shortly after finishing school Patrice launched Girls Auto Clinic, a female resource for their automotive needs. She holds workshops to educate women on how to work on their own cars and what to do in the case of an emergency. She has created her “tribe” of women called #SheCanic, dedicated to helping women of all ages. Don’t let her red heels, pretty face and can-do attitude fool you. She is on a mission and is doing it her way!
Patrice is equally inspired by men as well. Her inspiration comes from people who are relentless and want to inspire people every day. Those men and women who put themselves out there, never give up and try something that is unfamiliar. She feels the most significant barrier for people is their confidence and not trusting their gut instincts. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake or speak up because you think what you say might be dumb. Be true to yourself and keep focused on your goal.
Ladies, she wants to educate you and instill confidence in your ability to understand the basics. Ready to be empowered and educate yourself on your car? Check out GAC Car Care Workshop today. You will learn how to speak with mechanics about your car problems, what to do in an emergency and learn more about your car. It’s a safe space for women to ask questions and be a more confident automobile owner.
To learn more about Patrice, and to be a part of the movement, join Girls Auto Clinic on Facebook or join their email list for updates.