In the past, I labored like a contracted project coordinator for any St. Paul, MN-based non-profit. The work took it’s origin from a U.S. Department at work grant made to exercise women into male-dominated positions inside the auto service industry. The particular positions we centered on were auto service specialist, also known as auto technician, service advisors (write down the repair order), and parts workers (sell auto parts).
The work lasted 3 years and a part of my role ended up being to talk with service managers at Twin Metropolitan areas based car dealerships to cause them to become recruit and retain women within the positions pointed out above. I must be honest was probably the most exciting project I’ve labored on! The goals incorporated growing understanding of careers within the auto service industry, growing enrollment and retention of the amount of females in auto service programs at local technical and vocational schools, and growing the amount of females employed in nontraditional roles inside the auto service industry.
Guidance through Advisory Committee
We created an advisory committee composed of the representative in the local union, an apprenticeship representative, a lady auto service specialist, a car service specialist instructor, an agent in the local automobile dealers association, and us focusing on the work. The objective of the advisory committee ended up being to provide guidance toward reaching our goals also to help trobleshoot and fix and problem solve.
Even though some dealerships were built with a “token” lady within the male-dominated roles, many didn’t. One service manager that I met stated in my experience, “We hired a lady once and she or he did not exercise.” I had been flabbergasted! It seems he saw that “one” lady as representing all ladies and since she did not exercise, there is no use trying another lady. Biting my tongue, I figured to myself, how about the boys that did not exercise?
Inaugural Networking Event
Included in the project, we coordinated an initial available networking event for ladies within the auto service industry. Invitations were sent to women employed in a mans-dominated roles. A notable female who owns a number one Minneapolis based auto dealership was the keynote speaker, encouraging the ladies attendees to carry on following their passion. Most of the participants commented on which an excellent evening it had been to be with other women within the field, as oftentimes they might be the only real female in their dealership, except for administrative staff.