Why You Should Recruit Female Auto Techs – and How to Make it Happen
By Mia Bevacqua - an impressive Automotive retail expert with ASE Master, L1, L2 and L3 Advanced Level Specialist certifications. Over 13 years of experience in the automotive industry and a bachelor's degree in automotive technology.
The percentage of female automotive technicians in the industry is growing.
Hiring these excellent employees can increase diversity, while also improving the work environment and overall productivity.
When I first started out as a female technician in the mid-2000s, I was an anomaly. Now, when I travel to repair facilities to do mechanical failure inspections (my current day job), I often see women working in service bays. And it always puts a smile on my face. Female techs have a lot to offer and are a vital asset to any dealership.
Benefits of hiring female automotive technicians
The automotive industry is no longer exclusively a “man’s world”. Women are popping up all over – and not just as service advisors. The number of female technicians is growing, and your dealership can benefit from hiring them. These are the primary perks associated with bringing women techs onboard:
Greatness is born from diversity – and that’s why it’s imperative your dealership has female technicians on staff. Women can provide a different viewpoint when it comes to problem solving and diagnostics. Plus, they have different physical attributes. For example, a cramped tune-up job is a perfect task for a pair of small, female hands.
2. Better environment
When male technicians are just with “the guys” day in and day out, they may lose touch with women’s unique needs. But that changes when female auto technicians are around. Regularly being with someone different from yourself improves understanding and acceptance. As a result, men are likely to be more considerate towards both female customers and coworkers.
3. Larger applicant pool
It’s no secret there’s a shortage of automotive technicians. Adding women to your list of candidates increases your applicant pool and improves your chances of hiring a stellar tech.
4. Exceptional technicians
Some of the best technicians I’ve encountered have been women. It’s unfortunate, but because they've been discriminated against, women in the auto industry often feel they have more to prove. As a result, they’ll go the extra mile, getting the training and certification they need to make them the best in the business.
5. Increased employee morale
A diverse team brings employees together and increases morale. Women add a little something extra to the mix that helps everyone unite as one.
6. Greater trust
Women trust other women – especially in the male-dominated automotive industry. In many cases, having a female technician on staff will earn greater trust from women customers.
How to hire female auto techs
As a teenager, things were rocky when I started searching for a job as a technician. One of the first places I was invited to apply was a diesel repair shop. I was immediately offered the job – only to have the shop owner ask me out on a date shortly after! Needless to say, I did not end up working there.
Although the industry has improved, breaking in can still be intimidating for female technicians. There are a few things you can do to make the hiring process easier for both parties.
Recruit from schools
Women are becoming interested in cars earlier and earlier in their academic careers. Recruiting from technical schools, colleges – and even high schools – will increase your chances of finding the ideal female tech. Sources say, women are less likely than men to peruse job boards and online help wanted adds.
Pin-up girl calendars on toolboxes and girly magazines in the breakroom are not female-friendly. Welcome women by offering a safe and comfortable work environment that’s not gender bias. Take down any potentially offensive material and conduct your shop like the reputable business it is.
Treat women as equals
When a woman applies for a technician position, you shouldn’t treat her differently than male candidates. Don’t mention her gender during the interview process – she already knows she’s a woman and doesn’t need a reminder. If she’s got the skills to do the job, that’s all that matters.
Women – especially first-time technicians – are often intimidated when interviewing for a new position. They feel they have more to prove than their male counterparts and it makes them nervous. Put them at ease by being outgoing and friendly, maybe even crack a few (appropriate) jokes.
Have female leaders
I had an excellent female student who applied to several shops and got turned down. Finally, she went to a local dealership with a female service manager and was hired immediately. Having women in leadership roles encourages female applicants. It also encourages employees to be more accepting of diversity.
Get started today
If you’re not making a concerted effort to recruit female technicians – you’re missing out! Start reaching out to women today, and you’ll reap the benefits tomorrow.