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Women & Cars:
Mutually Exclusive Terms?

Women & Cars: Mutually Exclusive Terms?
When the Car Care Council Women’s Board gathers for its quarterly meetings, the topic of the day is not fashion, spouses, or even children. These automotive professionals, from industry executives to technicians, take time out of their schedules for one reason. They and the companies they represent are dedicated to educating women about automotive maintenance and careers.

Board members share an intense interest in correcting a problem that has plagued female motorists since the Model T: lack of automotive knowledge. For this reason, their primary goals are: 1) to increase women’s awareness of the value of regular maintenance and repair and 2) to encourage young people, girls and boys alike, to investigate the automotive industry as a career option.“

The fact that so many leaders in the industry support the Women’s Board concept reinforces our theory that its formation was long overdue” said Donna Wagner, Director of Operations for the Council. The Women’s Board, founded in 1996, was the logical outgrowth of the Car Care Council, whose mission is to educate motorists about the benefits of proper automotive maintenance. However, the Board’s task differs dramatically from that of the Council.

In short, women don’t need different information about cars or related careers, but the message does need to be distributed more effectively. Often, that entails using nontraditional means. Present avenues of dissemination include articles written for women by women, participation in women’s consumer shows, expanded National Car Care Month programs, distribution of information via conventional media as well as the Internet, industry trade shows, school counselors, and career fairs.

 “We hope that in the near future we can post our own website where everything from automotive schools to scholarships to job market information can be found,” said Wagner. “It would also be great to have a section for frequently asked automotive questions. Sort of an on-line car clinic. This all take time and money, but the Board is extremely determined.”

For the skeptic who still thinks the terms “woman” and “automobile” are mutually exclusive, consider the following statistics from the Women’s Board survey on the CCC web site. In the survey, 66 percent said they are responsible for maintenance decisions concerning their vehicles. And 22 percent share the responsibility with another person.

A large 90 percent feel that because they are women they are treated differently by technicians and service managers while 74 percent said that technicians explain the work that will be or has been done, but many responded that they had to be persistent to get this information.

The Women’s Board encourages men to join their ranks. “To achieve our goals, we cannot limit our resources to the women of the industry,” reminds Wagner. “Participation is open to all Car Care Council members.”

Along with its website www.carcarecouncil.org, literature is available describing its mission and goals. For a free copy, write to Car Care Council Women’s Board, 42 Park Drive, Port Clinton, OH 43452 or e-mail: carcare@infinet.com.

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