When you ask men why they like their auto service tech (a.k.a. mechanic), they'll usually respond with the fact that their tech fixed the car right, they know what they're doing, the price was reasonable, etc. When you ask women why they didn't like their tech, it's usually because they weren't treated right, the repairs weren't explained adequately, they felt ripped off, etc.
So the feedback is almost always about service. I have not once heard a complaint or praise due to gender. If it's a female that fixed the car, bonus! Hey, if I could get a Matt Damon look-alike to fix my car that would be a fantastic bonus. But that's not what it's about.
You will always have haters. People—both men and women—will judge you because you're a woman in the trade. I've had women tell me that they feel more confident if a man fixed their car. I'm not out to change their minds. I'm here to fix cars well for those who want to leave them with me.
The issue with focusing on gender is that it's something you can't change. The way I look at it, if I'm not good at fixing a car for some reason... it's not because I'm a woman. I can't change that. It's because I am lacking the skills to do it well. Now that I can change. I can learn, I can acquire the skills, etc. I now have to figure out a way to get the skills I need to do well at my job. I shouldn't get any preferential treatment, or any discrimination, just because I'm female.
When I started AutoNiche, I wanted to deliver client service that I felt was missing in the industry. After all, not long ago I was on the other side of the counter. I felt I could make a difference by bringing my perspective to running a repair shop. Yes, I believe that as a woman, I'll bring a different perspective to operating my business. Different. Not better. Not worse. Different. When I hire technicians and administrative staff, I'm not hiring based on gender. I want someone who can do the job well and communicate appropriately with our clients, suppliers and with me. And if I hire a service advisor or technician who's qualified and happens to look like Matt Damon, that's a bonus for me!
We're in Markham, Ontario so if you're ever in the area drop by and say hello! Here are some other women-owned repair shops:
For those of you in Calgary, Alberta, visit Elle Auto.
And representing Vancouver, British Columbia, check out Nic's Garage.
We're here to deliver client service with integrity and to provide a friendly environment. As Sandy Spicer (owner of Nic's Garage) puts it: non-intimidating car service!