Women in automotive
Helping women explore the numerous career opportunities in the automotive industry.
20 August, 2018
In the automotive industry there’s an anomaly they call the ‘missing 48 percent’. In the male dominated motoring world, just two percent of the total global automotive workforce are women, despite females comprising an almost equal 46.9 per cent of employed persons here in Australia.
In 2013, the New South Wales Government released a research paper which explored women in trade and technical jobs in Australia, the study revealing just 931 female motor mechanics in a technicians and trades workforce of nearly 1.43 million people. That means female mechanics account for less than half a percent of all in the profession in Australia.
Audi Australia is working to help bridge that gap by giving women the opportunity to jumpstart their careers and gear up to become automotive experts, whether that be under the bonnet or behind the desk in one of their dealerships.
ParentsNext is a pre-employment program funded through the Department of Jobs and Small Business that supports parents who have children under the age of six to plan and prepare for employment by the time their youngest child commences school.
The Audi Women in Automotive program gave 10 women who were receiving case management support through Mission Australia the chance to participate.
Participants, who had all experienced long term unemployment, completed both TAFE training in automotive administration and a vocational placement within an Audi dealership to become workforce-ready upon graduation. The program aimed to build women’s confidence, work skills and knowledge through education and on-the-job work experience, as well as focusing on exploring employment possibilities across a range of areas such as retail, administration, sales and after service.
Audi Australia is working to help bridge that gap by giving women the opportunity to jumpstart their careers and gear up to become automotive experts
Participants indicated that completing the program gave them a great sense of pride and achievement
Mission Australia program manager Lucy Klianev (pictured above) said the pilot provided a unique opportunity for women to get involved in an industry which tends to be a non-traditional choice for females.
“Initially they were surprised to be an offered an automotive training opportunity,” Klianev told Audi Magazine, “but when we told them they would have the ability to work with one of the world's most advanced prestige brands each of the 10 women were really excited about working with cars in any shape or form.”
Klianev added that it was important for these mothers to gain skills because most of them were newly settled migrants who wanted to gain employment but needed the help and support to do so. Two thirds of the participants also had three or more dependent children, and half were single parents.
“The training and mentorship allowed them to learn vital skills that could help each participant land employment,” she added.
“The women were provided with really good knowledge about the car industry and what it’s like to work in administration and sales in the sector and learn about all the different parts. They learned a lot.”
An evaluation of course satisfaction also revealed a particularly important benefit derived from taking part in the program was improved self-confidence. Participants indicated that completing the program gave them a great sense of pride and achievement and helped them to develop new work or training aspirations.
“They surprised themselves that overall they enjoyed the study and learning and their confidence grew immensely,” Klianev said.
During the first five weeks of the program participants attended two days per week of classroom training, followed by one day per week of vocational placement within an Audi dealership. The following three weeks, four participants took the opportunity to extend this vocational placement within Audi.
The course also included a one day training course at Audi Centre Sydney, where participants learnt about Audi and its vehicles ‘bumper to bumper’ and were given health and safety training within a workshop environment.
At the conclusion of the program, 100 percent of participants indicated that the Audi Women in Automotive project will help them re-enter the workforce, 80 percent said that they were now interested in working in the automotive industry and 80 percent also felt that being involved in the program had made them more confident in their ability to manage their time between home and work.
“Three participants were also thrilled to have received job offers following their participation in the project and an additional two participants enrolled in further study,” Klianev said.
While some had commenced the program with a keen interest in vehicles, others had never considered exploring potential career opportunities in this area, often because of their gender.
Klianev said many participants indicated they were unaware of the opportunities there might be for women within the automotive industry and were excited to learn that this was a field that could be open to them.
The Audi Women in Automotive pilot program is just one of the initiatives funded by the Audi Foundation, a corporate philanthropic organisation founded by Audi Australia in 2016. The Audi Foundation’s primary method of support is through their Grants Program, which provides funding to not-for-profit organisations that share the same focus and ambition.
The course also included a one day training course at Audi Centre Sydney, where participants learnt about Audi and its vehicles ‘bumper to bumper’
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