Philadelphia Woman Fed Up With the Lack of Female Mechanics, Becomes One

When Patrice Banks could not take the lack of women mechanics in Philadelphia anymore, she decided to change that; she decides to become one! Banks, 34 quit her job to establish her own auto shop.

Before quitting her job, Banks was working as a material engineer and manager at Duport, a position she had held for the last 12 years. She describes herself an “auto head” who would “opt to have her nails done then get worried about an asset worth thousands of dollars”- her auto.

“My car would require having the oil changed, but I would opt to have my pedicure done instead” recalls Banks. I am a woman and I know I wasn’t the only one with that kind of perception.

Her journey to becoming a mechanic started six years ago when she went in search of a female auto mechanic to help her fix a problem with her car but couldn’t find one. She decided to join a training college to become one and started classes on part time. She graduated after two years with a diploma in automotive technology and it has been a sequence of events since then. She eventually started the Girls Auto Clinic to offer workshop and help for women.

Banks says she wants to equip women with the basics of taking care of their cars so that they do not have to feel intimidated or get swindled by male mechanics who have dominated the industry.

I want women to stop asking questions like, “how often do I change my filter?” Or “how do I jumpstart my car? “ I want to teach everybody everything they need to know about their autos,” she said.

Banks quit her job early last year and went ahead to release a book called the “The Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide”. She has been involved in training Girl Scouts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as well as New Jersey about her program and what it is all about. So influential is her program that one female technician, Cirina Johns moved to Philadelphia after she heard the word about Bank’s mission.

Banks says that plans are underway to open another auto shop that will be operated by women. The new auto shop will have a “warm and welcoming” ambiance complete with a nail and hair salon. She already has a business plan in place and has applied for funding. With such zeal, it seems that Banks is all set to disrupt the auto industry in Philadelphia.

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