Junior Bucks Stereotype of Women and Cars
In a field of work dominated by male workers, junior Kealey Weaver does much more than bursting through this stereotype.
Weaver’s grandfather knew the basics about vehicle care, the basic oil change and brake replacement, something men generally know. Weaver however wanted more. While her interest in mechanic work did not stem from a long generational history in the line of work like some, it came from pure curiosity. She has always been a car person, from the way they sound to the way they are put together it all appeals to her.
“I love thinking about how things fit together, what makes it run and what is necessary to get the job done,” Weaver said. “The small minor details all the way up to the engine block, and how it all connects excites me. How tiny little explosions inside the combustion chamber have the power to move a two ton car absolutely blows my mind.”
She is a kinesthetic learner and enjoys hands learning, when she sees something she is interested in she wants to get her hands on it and experiment. Being dual-enrolled in Calhoun Community College automotive mechanics class gives her the full mobility to roll up her sleeves and get her hands dirty. In a field dominated by men, this can be a struggle at times. Invalidating her skills and denying her abilities boys often find many ways to doubt Weaver and her knowledge.
“Men do not expect women to be able to step up and do what is seen as a man’s job,” Weaver said. “I have walked into a parts shop being looking around and had a male worker talk down to me because he assumed I was lost. He made me feel like a lost little kid looking for a toy.”
Cars are everyday tools for a majority of the population, Weaver thinks that if you are going to use something you should at least understand the basic components. She stresses how important is it to have essential knowledge on the inner workings of your personal vehicle whether it is something you want to pursue or not.
“Some people drive cars every single day but probably could not tell you the difference between a radiator cap or an oil cap,” Weaver said. “It is sad to know that sixty percent of people do not even know how to change a tire. I do not want to be a part of that static.”
Weaver plans to go into the military and become an aircraft mechanic, she wants to use the knowledge she is gaining in highschool to better prepare herself for her goals. Once she gets her business degree and retires she plans to open her own automotive and autobody shop. With 98% of mechanics being male, the industry is in dire need a women because of their smaller frames and their ability to reach things some men can not.
“Even if you do not want to learn about cars for pure enjoyment,” Weaver said. “You do not want to be cheated on anything when it comes to buying and fixing your car. If you know the basics you can prevent many situations like ruining out oil and getting a flat.”