The work we do day in and day out at Protech would not be possible without the impact women have made on our industry. In honor of Women’s History Month, we want to recognize pioneers of historical inventions, executives leading our industry today and the wonderful teammates we have the pleasure of working with. Without each and every one of them, we would not have the ability to give lives the all clear.
Here at Protech, we believe everyone deserves the chance to pave their way in the automotive industry. When it comes to a career as an ADAS technician, what matters most is the hard work and dedication that recruits are willing to put into the job. Unfortunately, our industry as a whole has not always followed that same mantra. In 2018, only 16 women (8%) were executives in the top 20 motor vehicles and parts companies in the Fortune Global 500. Not only that, but women are also vastly underrepresented in the mechanic and technician fields. That’s why we’re excited to highlight these trailblazers who have the power to inspire the future of our industry.
Margaret A. Wilcox, Mechanical Engineer
Margaret A. Wilcox was an engineer and inventor born in 1838 in Chicago, and she’s the reason you can get into a toasty car on a cold winter’s day. Before you could remote start your vehicle while still in bed, heat was dispersed in a much simpler form. In 1893, Margaret designed a way for hot air to be put into the cabin directly from the engine, therefore changing the course of history for what humans could accomplish with automobiles. Without her, our cars would be parked all winter long.
Bertha Benz, Automotive Pioneer
Before Benz was a household name in the luxury vehicle market, Bertha Benz made a monumental 66-mile journey in 1888 that would result in the creation of brake pads. Long distance road trips were illegal at this time, and her husband didn’t know that Bertha and the kids were setting out for such a long haul. However, Bertha did it to prove that the automobile they created would be successful. In doing so, she invented something that keeps drivers safe to this day.
Mary Anderson, Inventor
Mary Anderson was an inventor born in Alabama who made a lasting impact on the mobility of vehicles. While on a visit to New York City in the winter of 1903, her trolley car driver had to open both front windowpanes just to see through the falling snow. This led her to create windshield wipers, which made vehicles safer than ever before.
Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors
Barra is the first woman to ever run any major automaker. Under her leadership, General Motors was ranked number one in the 2018 Global Report on Gender Equality. Because of her, GM is one of only two global companies with no gender pay gap. She was ranked #1 on Fortune’s Most Powerful Women list in 2016 and has inspired women across the world to follow their dreams. We are thankful to have such a powerful leader atop our forward-thinking industry.
Trudy Hardy, Vice President of BMW Motorrad Americas
Since joining BMW in 2001, Hardy has worked her way up through marketing and after-sales roles. Helping turn the brand into the luxury giant it is today, she is truly an innovative force in our industry. She’s been recognized for her efforts by AdWeek, which awarded her the 2014 Brand Genius Winner for Automotive. One of her biggest achievements was taking charge on BMW’s project to create a sled for the U.S. bobsled team.
Without these women, and so many others who have had an impact on our industry, we would not be able to continue our purpose of Giving Lives the All Clear. For many years, they have not gotten the recognition they deserve for being a force in automobile safety innovation and leadership. We’re proud to shine a light on their trailblazing careers.
Don’t miss our next blog to learn about the women of Protech who always help us stay ahead of the curve. In the meantime, check our careers page for the growing number of opportunities for passionate men and women to continue to drive change in our industry.