When it’s time to get an oil change or tune up, you are eventually going to end up at an auto shop. While this may seem like a routine thing on the to do list, it can be a daunting task for women and non binary people. Auto shops are typically male dominated, and can be an anxiety inducing experience for some women. But someone has decided to change the game. Read on to learn how one woman started her own auto shop for women to feel safe.
When Zoe Cog began in the auto repair industry, she started out as a receptionist. The 25 year old from Manchester, UK then worked her way up and became a mechanic. What she learned about the auto shop culture is that many women feel anxious in spaces like this. Most repair shops are mostly men. Many women feel like the are belittled, discriminated against, or even intimidated.
“I’ve been the girl on the other end, worried about walking into places like garages and feeling anxious,” she said in an interview.
This is one of the reasons that she was led to start her own auto shop. She described how she wanted to be that one mechanic that other women can feel comfortable with as another woman. She strived to create a safe space for women and non binary people so that they do not have to endure some of the negative and toxic experiences they have had in the past with male dominated auto repair shops.
“Although it’s never easy, I like to think I’m an approachable, friendly female who has created a place where you can walk in and feel at ease, regardless of your gender,” she said. Cog is making great strides to change the landscape of getting car repairs done for women and non binary people.
One of the things she likes best about owning her own shop, which is called AutoCog, is that she can help women feel more at ease during the process of car repair. “I get pleasure out of taking the pressure off the girls and can give as good of a service as any male-owned garage, but also build trust with the people I’m working with,” she said.
Cog’s efforts show that she is not only making women feel more safe during the car repair experience, but she is doing her part to change the auto repair industry itself. By having her own repair shop that is not dominated by men, she is proving that women can perform in this industry with just as much skill and accuracy as men. This will help to change the stigma of women mechanics in the auto repair industry.
What has been great about her shop is that the experience has been surprisingly great. Cog had expectations for how the process would go, and she described how all of her expectations were met and even exceeded.
“Honestly, the response to my garage has been phenomenal and beyond anything I’d ever expected. It’s been an incredible rollercoaster. I’ve had so much support and positive feedback from not just women but also some incredible words from men,” she said.
She also talked about even though she has some people who question her abilities, the overall consensus is that a shop like hers is much needed.
“Although some of the comments have proved why such a place was needed for us women – that’s for sure. I’ve had people question my ability to do the job as a woman, but I don’t let it get to me,” she said.