TAFE Ultimo’s Women in Auto Trades Program inspires participants to defy gender stereotypes. The scheme is a bold undertaking, and the name itself should have us questioning gender in other trades as well.
Nine women, aged between 19 – 40 and from all walks of life, recently graduated from the program and are looking towards careers as mechanics.
The initiative is part of the NSW Government’s Investing in Women Funding Program.
With the support of Auto Skills Australia and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) who lead and sponsor the five-week full-time course, the students are prepared to a level where they can confidently undertake apprenticeships.
“We couldn’t be prouder to be involved in this important initiative. My predecessor, Veronica Johns, was the first female CEO of an automotive company in Australia, so encouraging more women to join the industry is a cause we feel incredibly strongly about,” said Pat Dougherty, FCA president and CEO.
It seems we have a long way to go when it comes to breaking down gender stereotypes. In a field where male counterparts outnumber females on a scale of 113 – 1, we can only change these patterns with concerted and sustained support from government at Federal and State level.
The industry has as many as 22,000 positions to fill throughout Australia as mechanic after mechanic leaves the motor trade to search for greater wealth in the diminishing mining industry.