According to a recent study conducted by Workplace Gender Equality, Women are largely under-represented in the automotive industry. The study shows that female workers continue to represent only 20% of the automotive segment.

Surprisingly, the research shows that female participation within the automotive industry has kept mostly the same over the past 20 years.

To place ourselves in a worldwide context, the numbers are pretty much the same… automotive is a male dominated sector, with just two percent of the total global automotive workforce are women. Furthermore, the industry is not just male dominated when it comes to servicing cars.

  • Car sales: only 28.64% are female
  • Servicing and repairing: 29% female
  • Body shops: 26.32% female participation
  • Race car driving: 17.57% of professional drivers are female

The motor trade industry remains heavily male-dominated, but it doesn’t have to be this way!

We are heading in the right direction. A clear example is that the pandemic makes us re-evaluate the way that we see and do things. It is known that Australia has seen a significant demand for skills within the automotive workforce, with a workforce shortage of 33,000. This impacts automotive workshops nationwide, which positively created a great opportunity to promote and highlight the profile of women who want to join the industry.

The goal for the industry now is to have a diverse workforce, and Hand Brake Turn has stepped up and committed to be part of the process. In recent years, we have observed an increase in the number of female graduates that take part in our automotive course.

“For the last 3 classes we had 20% of female participation. That is considerably higher than the industry rate, which is below 5% “.

Jonathan Sugumar, Hand Brake Turn Coordinator

It is amazing to have more young women take part in Hand Brake Turn. We have been successfully delivering this program to more than 10,000 students, with high completion and re-engagement rates. Concern Australia has had a positive impact on the wellbeing of participants through increasing their engagement with their family and communities… this program is effective!

An important initiative of Hand Brake Turn is to engage more young people within our automotive course, increase the opportunities for education and career pathways for young women interested in the industry, and help to bridge the gender gap.

“It’s great to have female participation in Hand Brake Turn! It’s added a new set of eyes and perspective in what can be a very male dominated classroom/workshop. HBT prides itself on being an inclusive and diverse space for all our young people. It’s a proud moment when you can see that in action” says Jonathan.

fiXit helping bridge the gap

With the launch of our social enterprise fiXit, we are able to provide real world professional automotive workshop experience to HBT graduates including our female cohort.

Although the road to equalise the gender diversity in the automotive industry looks bumpy, Concern Australia is committed to ignite the change!

At Concern Australia we strive to work towards the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Our drive to reduce gender disparities within automotive repairs is reflective of UN SDG 5 – to promote gender equality as well as UN SGD 10 – reducing inequalities.

If you would like to make a difference in a young person life, please donate to our programs today.

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