One Woman’s Quest to Conquer the Automotive Industry
It’s no secret that the automotive world is still viewed predominantly as a boys’ club. Women are very much still the minority when it comes to anything relating to vehicles. Not even just automobile enthusiasts but mechanics and salespeople, too – automotive careers are predominantly male. There’s a lot of intimidation that comes with being a woman in a predominantly male field – many women don’t even want to try to learn about fixing cars or parts because they’re afraid of failure or looking uninformed. That isn’t what you’d call surprising, given the amount of machismo that’s stereotypically associated with the automotive world, it can really shoot down your self-confidence.
Thankfully, one woman has taken it upon herself to break all of the stereotypes and get women more involved in the world of engines and exhaust pipes.
Audra Fordin is making it her mission to remove the stigmas and intimidation from the automotive industry and ensure that more women can get involved and learn something. Ignorance of your own vehicle can lead to unnecessary breakdowns, costly repairs and even injuries. Not only does she want to see more women being able to take auto mechanic courses, but she wants to see more women in auto careers period.
Automotive know-how is in Audra’s blood. Her family started the reknowned and excellent Great Bear Auto, and her experience growing up was one of being immersed in the automotive industry almost 24/7, working for her parents. You can learn more about her in this video:
She now runs the website www.womenautoknow.com which serves as a knowledge index to get people – not just women, but anyone – started on getting to know their automobiles. It includes a ton of resources like career opportunities, an index of automotive centres with reviews, workshops and events and much more. Audra says that the mixture of people who use the site right now is about 46% men and 54% women. There are woefully few automotive resources that cater to women, or are comprehensive enough to give someone with almost no experience an introduction and a place to start, so Audra’s project is all about getting curious women involved on the ground floor.
American Express is currently putting the spotlight on Audra with their #PassionProject endeavor. This endeavor is set up to sponsor and support groundbreaking or innovative passion projects that people like Audra are championing, making it easier for them to get noticed and achieve their goals. With the help of American Express, it’s likely that Audra’s message and her passion will reach an even wider audience, helping women everywhere realize that they don’t have to be nervous or afraid about opening up that hood and taking a look at what’s inside.