Trailblazing all-female auto repair shop is changing the face of the industry

All-female auto repair shop run by Patrice Banks in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, allows clients to get manicures while waiting for their cars.

all-female auto repair shop
Picture from Girl’s Auto Clinic’s Facebook

Despite all the progress we’ve made as a society when it comes to gender discrimination, some professions are solely managed by one gender. One such profession is car mechanics, which is still largely a male-dominated industry.

And that’s how a businesswoman was tired of feeling powerless and forced to approach guys. In particular, she was concerned that someone may take advantage of her.

Patrice Banks from Pennsylvania gave up her prestigious engineering profession to volunteer at neighborhood mechanic shops and gain auto repair skills to address this problem. According to Good News Network, she founded the Girls Auto Clinic after finishing her training.

The GAC is the first of its type in the country and provides women who want to learn how to fix cars with hands-on workshops, vehicle care education programs, and memberships.

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While employed at DuPont, Patrice Banks made the decision to increase her workload and join a night school for mechanics. In the class of guys, aged eighteen and nineteen, she was the only female student aged 30.

She told the International Business Times, she never gave up on learning how to fix automobiles. In 2013, she established GAC in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, with some very great business ideas derived from her ten years of hating oil changes.

During her lunch break, while working at DuPont, Patrice and one of her colleagues would visit this particular Jiffy Lube because it had a nail salon next door. According to Banks, she and nearly all other women she knows detest having their oil changed. “We’d drop our cars off and walk next door and get our nails done while we waited,” she remarked.

all-female auto repair shop
Patrice Banks

She clarifies that although intricate mechanical engineering takes on beneath automobiles, a mechanic relies heavily on their sense of touch, smell, hearing, and sight.

In addition to being informed about the condition of their car when the work is done, her clients—who have access to free WiFi, snacks and drinks, hundreds of books, and the “Clutch Beauty Clinic” nail salon—are also informed about how Patrice arrived at that conclusion, including what she was searching for, hearing, and how she discovered or heard it.

She has also created a group of women known as “Shecanics” who are not only becoming knowledgeable about the automobiles they depend on but may also be altering the direction of the industry.

Maybe because of this open communication and knowledge-sharing, the number of women working in the automobile repair industry increased from 4,000 in the country at the beginning of the pandemic to 19,000 by the end of 2022.

The influx of women in this field is likely a result of Patrice and other women like her, as well as government lockdowns, business closures, and the desire for greater independence.

Maya Bennett