Pit-Stop: Catching up with fantastic women in the motor trade
Neighbourhood Media is always looking for those in the local community who are challenging norms and making a difference in their respective fields. For this issue, we were fortunate enough to catch up with Brookvale Nissan’s Service Manager, Samantha Lamb and their Service Provider, Skye Evans, to talk about their roles and experiences as women working in the car industry.
What prompted you to take on a job in cars? Have you always had an interest in them?
Samantha: “My father ignited my passion for the motor trade. I watched him climb the ranks (in sales) as a child. He used to bring home fast/ fun cars. Since then, I have always had an interest in cars. It wasn’t until I started in the motor trade that my passion really grew. Selling cars didn’t satisfy my interest, I understood that service is where the real fun begins.”
Skye: “Similar to Samantha, my father was in body repair. I watched him work in a garage most of my life. It sparked a passion and interest in cars. I have always been interested in cars and saw the perfect opportunity to grow my knowledge in something I was passionate about.”
It’s no secret that the car industry has, since its foundation, been overwhelmingly male. What do you make of it as women in the workforce?
Samantha: “Both Skye and I agree. I have been in and out of the trade for nine years; it has always been dominated by men. It is more progressive, which is fantastic. Just because the industry has previously been a male-dominated area doesn’t mean that you should feel incapable or inadequate to start a career in something you're passionate about. I can confidently say both Skye and I are headstrong women who aren’t intimated by the environment, nor should anyone feel it creates limitations.”
How long have you been in the industry? Have you noticed any changes since you’ve started?
Samantha: “Roughly 9 years. I originally started selling cars when I was 17. I was in a team with 13 men. Since then, a lot has changed; I’ve worked with several really fantastic women, I hope that trend continues.”
Skye: “I have now been in the motor trade for four months. Originally in sales, then relocated to service. I’m new to the industry, so can’t make a fair assumption.”
Do you believe that there are more obstacles in the car industry for women than men?
Samantha: “I think it's more a personal limitation that you can create for yourself. If you believe that the motor trade is difficult for women, you will become a product of that way of thinking. There are disadvantages at times, but nothing substantial has put me off working in this type of environment.”
Skye: “I personally do not feel that there were any obstacles, but there are certain disadvantages in certain positions where you may be undermined, but nothing major.”
In what ways do you hope the industry will continue to change to be more accessible to women?
Samantha: “It's important to have both genders in any type of work environment. Being defined by a certain sex to do a particular role seems unnecessary, you create the opportunities that you want. I truly believe that the industry is more inclusive, and Skye and I are a perfect example of that.”
Skye: “The motor trade is becoming progressive; having a female service manager gives me the ambition to continue to develop my skill set in the industry and strive to do the same.”
Do you find that working at Nissan Brookvale has helped develop your skills and support you in your careers?
Samantha: “I have worked here for several years now. It has helped shape me into the person I am in a professional and personal manner. No one wants to spend any money on their car; Brookvale Nissan has helped give me the skill to communicate something that isn’t always an easy conversation.”
Skye: “As someone who has recently started at Brookvale Nissan, it is helping me develop the necessary skills to progress in my career.”
Any additional items or pieces of information that you’d like to share with our readers?
Both: “The motor trade is a weird and wonderful place to work. Regardless of gender, people should strive for the career they want to achieve. If you want to see us wonderful women in action, please come and visit us at Brookvale Nissan.”