By Alejandra Reyes-Velarde
Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) According to Jody DeVere, founder of AskPatty.com, a website that offers auto resources for women and businesses, women influence 80 to 85 percent of all automotive purchases and hold the majority of U.S. driver’s licenses.
Los Angeles Times
Verena Mei began her career as a poster model for a tire company. She would pose for cameras in a tank top and tiny shorts, and then sign her portrait for fans, most of them men.
So when she told friends she wanted to be a race car driver, she said, they would respond: “That’s cute, Verena.”
“That didn’t make me feel good because I had this dream, I had this drive within me,” she said. “Even at the track nobody would take me seriously.”
Mei had to prove her passion was genuine by showing up to the track alone, unloading her car herself, changing her own tires and doing her own repairs. She became a top competitor in the punishing sport of rallying.
Mei was a guest at the LA Auto Show Girls’ Pit Stop booth, hosted by Jessica Chou, a YouTuber who posts tutorials showing women how to fix their cars.
Chou hopes the booth will make women a little less intimidated to get under the hood or start a career in the automotive industry, she said.
“There wasn’t a single aspect of the automotive industry that felt comfortable for me,” she said. “Going to the dealership and negotiating was tough for me. Going to a mechanic, that was very hard. And even in an auto parts store, (I was) very confused by the walls and walls of products.”
About 28 percent of jobs in the motor vehicle manufacturing industry are held by women, and about 21 percent of dealerships’ employees are women, according to the U.S. Labor Department.