Updated: May 17
By Bondurant Auto Body co-owner, Mary Hanrahan
Most people consider collision repair to be a male dominated industry. Women make up 3.6 percent of the workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017). However, things are starting to change as more women are considering a career in the field. And as we progress, traditional occupations and expectations within the workforce are changing, too. The days of gender roles are becoming a thing of the past. In fact, 3 out of our 7 employees here at Bondurant Auto Body are women.
Introducing girls at a young age and educating them about a career in the auto collision field is not just important to widen their opportunities, but great for the industry. Women bring attention to detail, creativity and unprecedented customer service skills and are a great contribution to the collision repair environment. They can also bring a different perspective, which enhances all departments of the shop from the minute the customer hands over their keys to the final inspection of their vehicle.
With a shortage of skilled-trade technicians at a critical point in the US, more and more women are attending technical schools versus going the traditional college route. Women are the next generation of technicians! Des Moines Area Community College has a great Auto Collision Technology Program that gives students an entry level grasp of the body shop which can help them land a position. There are also scholarships available to women who choose a post-secondary collision repair technology program, as well as mentoring and educational events geared toward them.
A career in auto body is an excellent choice for women for the same reasons it’s an excellent career choice for men. Here are a few facts to consider:
Job Security: Unlike some careers, skilled trades will always be in demand.
Less Schooling: A shorter education period means less time spent in the classroom and a better chance of keeping student loan debt to a minimum.
Upward Mobility: There’s plenty of room within the auto collision industry for upward mobility. Of course, some departments have more room for movement than others, but opportunities for management and supervisory positions are common.
The Collision Industry is interesting: If you don’t like the idea of working in a cubicle and enjoy working in a fast-paced environment, an auto body position could be the right career for you.
Alisa Wright is one of our Auto Body Technicians here at Bondurant Auto Body. She’s been in the industry for four years now. We asked her why she chose this career path:
“I grew up helping my Dad in the garage and that’s where I enjoy spending my time.”
We also asked Alisa if she would recommend this career to other females:
“Yes. If you enjoy doing something, then you should do it. It’s a fun and rewarding job that is not just a male’s profession."
Women can be found in all facets of our world – estimators, technicians, parts managers, office managers, detailers as well as business owners and so much more. Many businesses in our industry are recognizing talent beyond gender. The great news is that there is no limit to the positions available for Women!