I often wonder why some shops, and they are becoming fewer and farther between, still have the crazy calendars hanging that feature women in bikinis, usually working on cars. I think it is so strange that, of all places to put such a calendar, it would become a readily seen decoration above a technician's toolbox. What would clients think if, when they walked into a Fidelity branch to meet with a investment manager, the self-same calendar hung above their desk? I think that most people would think twice about how their Roth IRA was being handled.
But, as we all know, more and more jobs are being filled by women that were traditionally being filled by men, which is wonderful. And, while we still have a long way to go to make sure that compensation is treated the same way for men as for women, things are changing. This is also true in the automotive world. More than ever we are seeing shops being run by and staffed by women. Yet, there are still stigmas attached to women in this business. It isn't uncommon for us to hear from people who want only to speak to a male service advisor or technician because they don't trust that women have the knowledge to be able to understand and repair their vehicles. Yet, here at Automotive Evolution, we have women doing just such trustworthy work and doing it well.
The calendars that once wallpapered shops are thankfully beginning to go away, and this is especially true for shops that are forward-thinking enough to know that women often are the ones who are taking care of car maintenance and repair. As such, they cannot be spoken to in demeaning ways, nor led to believe that an automotive repair shop isn't their place. It is not only their place, but a business in which they are becoming the predominant client.
When we built our shops we had women design it, asked women to work in it and thought of women as our target market because we knew that there was a void in the automotive industry that needed to be filled. With every change in our business that we make, we do so with women in mind. Is the shop clean, friendly, warm, filled with a good variety of magazines (sorry Motor Trend!)? Is the bathroom nice and are there amenities? We are constantly updating our spaces to make sure that they feel inviting. We have done away with belts, tires and the like in our waiting areas. We want the experience in our shop to be memorable - and not in a bad way!
So, while there are still some places that chose to hang those calendars - we will never be one of them - and we'll never ask our technicians to work on cars in short-shorts. I think we can all be thankful for that.