On International Women’s Day, we are shining a light on our National Careers Manager, Gemma Edwards who is making a real difference in helping females into the automotive industry.
Every week, Gemma visits at least six colleges, travelling up and down the country, covering hundreds of miles to spread the word to automotive students about future career opportunities within the motor industry and the Autotech Academy internship.
After years of pushing careers within the automotive industry, Gemma has become aware that the number of females studying for a Level 3 automotive qualification is increasing: “It’s encouraging to see that today, when I present to a group of students, there’s always at least one female in the audience, whereas just a couple of years ago this would have been a rarity.”
The number of female interns currently in a placement through Autotech Academy is today also at an all time high, which is testament to the work Gemma is undertaking: “I definitely think that, as a woman, the female students feel that they can approach me and ask questions that potentially they wouldn’t ask a man,” Gemma continues. “I can tell them about the many different equal opportunities that are now available within the sector and help dispel any myths they may have.
Females on these courses are often fueled by a passion for cars and the industry so we need to make sure that this fire isn’t extinguished, and they transition into automotive employment.”
Throughout the 6–12-month internship – which is determined with the client to meet their needs exactly – each intern also has access to the Autotech Academy team if they need any advice. The recruitment of Sam Toye as National Sales Manager to the team last year has also added an additional layer of support for the female interns.
“Sam is a great addition to the team, and she does a fantastic job of supporting all of the interns.” Gemma concludes. “When forging a career within what has historically always been a male dominated environment, having a woman as a mentor is powerful and it can make a huge difference to a female starting her career.
The gender imbalance within the sector is still an issue but I am proud to be playing a part in making a difference.”