As part of its aim to promote gender equality, Bapcor Trade shares the stories of some of its female team members, customers and suppliers to celebrate International Women’s Day.
March 8 marks the annual day that celebrates the cultural, political and socioeconomic achievements of women around the world.
As Australasia’s largest automotive aftermarket specialised company, Bapcor Trade is celebrating the increasing number of women enjoying successful careers in the industry.
Bapcor says its Burson Auto Parts’ Precision Automotive Equipment businesses are continuing to break down the barriers for women seeking rewarding careers in this dynamic and constantly growing sector of Australian industry.
“International Women’s Day provides us with a great opportunity to raise awareness of women in our industry and the long-term career ascension opportunities available to them,” Said Bapcor trade executive general manager, Steve Drummy.
“We seek to break the gender bias that exists in our industry and play our part to encourage and support more women to bring their talent, expertise and enthusiasm to the automotive aftermarket business.”
Bapcor Trade seeks to promote gender equality as a real and important part of any business structure, with inclusion and diversity paramount in any company or industry.
Here, women involved with the business share their thoughts.
Natasha Sanders – Third year apprentice at Ultra Tune Emerald (QLD)
“I have only been in the automotive industry for about two and a half years. I would recommend more women to give it a go because it has been a really good experience for me. Not only have I learned a lot, I’m also having a lot of fun with a great team of people,” said Sanders.
Shanara Phillips – Second year apprentice Horsham Off Road (VIC)
“I have grown up around cars pretty much ever since I was born. My dad is a mechanic as well so I had quite a bit of experience before I started my apprenticeship as a mechanic 14 months ago. The people I work with and my bosses make work enjoyable – I consider taking on this job as the best decision that I have made,” she said.
“I do sometimes feel like males can doubt females of what they can achieve. I believe that there isn’t much difference between males and females in any industry, anyone can put their mind to something and always achieve it with the right positive attitude.”
Wendy West – Manager at Burson Auto Parts Kilmore (VIC)
“I worked my way up from starting out as a delivery driver at our Burson Auto Parts Essendon store in 1991.That’s when my Burson career started, but my experience in the automotive industry spans 35 years. I would absolutely recommend women to join the automotive industry – long gone are the days where this is just a job for men,” said West.
“I’ve certainly seen a lot over the years and I have had a ball. It hasn’t always been easy but nothing ever is. I’ve met some awesome people throughout my career who have become life long friends.”
Cristy Roebuck – Precision Auto Equipment customer service coordinator (QLD)
“I have worked in the automotive industry for just two years. I like the camaraderie and team environment in my workplace and of course, the organised chaos at times. I definitely recommend women to get involved in this industry,” Roebuck explained.
“I have worked in many male dominated workplaces from Abattoirs to Construction Sites. They have had their ups and downs regarding male behaviour situations, but then there have also been female behaviour situations. It’s the person not the gender.”
Britney Olive – Pit crew member at Lamattina Top Fuel Racing Team (VIC)
“I have been around the sport of Drag Racing since before I could walk so, it seemed to just come naturally to me to pursue this as a career. I first started crewing on my Dad’s Nitro Funny cars when I was 15 years of age. I started off by doing simple tasks such as filling the fuel and oil after each run and helping him re-pack his parachutes,” said Olive.
“I would 100 per cent recommend any female to become involved in drag racing. Being part of a sport such as this as a young female is both daunting and rewarding, due to it being such a male dominated sport. For young women that have a love for cars, just get involved and give it a go. Weather it is racing or working on a car, at the end of the day it’s down to how passionate you are about the industry and giving something a go that not everyone gets the chance to do.”
Nikita Walters – Burson Auto Parts Osborne Park store manager (WA)
“My first job at the age of 15 was at an automotive parts and accessory store. It wasn’t something I had always wanted to do, at that point in time I was just grateful to have a part time job whilst in school. I have now been employed in the automotive industry for 17 years,” said Walters.
“My time in the automotive industry has definitely been challenging, but overall the positives outweigh the negatives. I will always advocate for gender equality and I am truly hopeful for the future of women in the automotive industry.”