Mechanics no mystery to local women
GONE are the days when mystery shrouded the mechanical world and women would only dream of what lay beneath the bonnet of their vehicles.
Women want the skills to change a tyre, check the oil and do all the basic maintenance that was once considered a 'man's job', and that's exactly what they got at a workshop this week.
Thirty-five Warwick women rocked up to Black Hyundai on Wednesday night to get up close and personal with their vehicles in a free hands on workshop run by national educator Women on Wheels.
"It allows women to learn about their car and feel much more confident is situations like if they break down on the side of the road,” said customer relations manager Cameron Sternsdorf.
Participants rotated between stations where expert service technicians were there to show them all the tricks of the trade.
Women on Wheels CEO Melinda Reihberg said the focus was on building basic skills and knowledge that would improve women's overall safety in their cars.
"Learning more about your car and how to keep it happy and healthy can make a huge difference in ensuring women are safer overall,” Ms Reihberg said.
"For example, knowing how to change a tyre lets women take charge of situations, instead of accidentally flagging down the wrong person.”
Women on Wheels was founded in 2008 when two women noticed a knowledge imbalance when it came to women and their vehicles.
"Women weren't conducting the maintenance that is fairly easy to do, such as checking the tyre pressure,” Ms Reihberg said.
Participants at the workshop agreed that females generally didn't have as much exposure to cars and motor vehicles as men.
One of the key complaints among participants was that mechanics would take advantage of women's lack of knowledge and charge them more for maintenance and repairs.
"There's no reason women shouldn't be just as knowledgeable as men,” Ms Reihberg said.
"Let's get sensible and serious and provide a fun, safe avenue for women to learn these skills.”
By the end of the workshop, women were no strangers to the garage and everyone seemed to enjoy the practical focus of the training.
"Women love it - they say they walk away feeling empowered,” Ms Reihberg said.
"I've had women tell me they feel like they know more about their cars than their husbands, and are so glad they don't always have to call on others for help.”
Mr Sternsdorf said the workshop was a way of giving back to the community.