Improving female diversity in the auto services industry
Before I start I have a confession to make – I’m a man!
So, the irony of me writing a blog on improving female representation in the auto services industry isn’t lost on me. Yet, diversity in all sectors is something I care about. So, rather than shirk away from it, here goes.
Firstly, let’s deal with the scale of the issue. Back in 2018 WhoCanFixMyCar.com reported that amongst garages in their network there had been a 125% rise in the number who employed female mechanics since 2011. Now, don’t get me wrong, this increase is great, but if you look more closely at the details you’ll see that this was an increase from 4% to 9%. So, the number of garages with female mechanics was still incredibly low.
What’s also missing from the reports I’ve seen is how many female vs male mechanics the responding garages employ. In other words employing one female in a much larger male team would have contributed to that impressive percentage increase even if in actual numbers the change wasn’t nearly as big.
Secondly, why is this a problem? In general terms “diversity” can get a bit of bad press in some quarters, but it’s growing in importance to many businesses. This is because research from the likes of McKinsey has shown that diverse teams are more productive and more innovative, and will outperform less diverse teams as a result.
Businesses who value diversity will have access to a greater range of talent and insight into what their whole customer base (rather than just part of it) wants. To put it another way if you put a bunch of middle-aged white men in a room they’ll design products and services that appeal to other middle-aged white men. And with some sources reporting there are now more female drivers on the road than male this lack of female representation is a huge problem for auto service businesses that want female customers.
So, what’s to be done? Well, there’s not one straightforward answer to this and I’m sure many employers would argue that they can’t find female candidates who are interested in the opportunities they have.
Personally I would challenge this statement as I work for a youth employment charity called Talent RISE and one of the things we do is help employers to engage young people they wouldn’t normally reach. In my experience the candidates they’re looking for (of all types, not just females) do exist, but they’re not looking in the right places.
In this example a quick search on Google or Facebook will immediately return a dozen or more groups for female drivers or car enthusiasts. This is exactly how I found FoxyLadyDrivers.
Oh, and the reason I was looking is that right now I’m working with a major UK employer that is looking to recruit female auto-service apprentices this year. They have nine Level 3 opportunities available (one each in Birmingham, Warwick, Peterborough, Aldershot, Weybridge, Aylesbury, Manchester, Stockton and Barnsley) and I’m currently looking for candidates.
So if you’re a young woman (aged 30 or under) interested in building a new career in auto service, or you know one that is, then I’d love to hear from you: email@example.com // 07585 984 810.
Note: as a youth employment charity we are legally only able to work with candidates aged 30 or under. We operate for the public benefit and do not receive payment from employers for our services.
Guest Blog By Andy Chaggar of Talent RISE