Woman aiming to change the autobody industry

A woman is opening an all-female autobody shop in Toronto

 

Some employees of Ink & Iron.
Some of the soon-to-be employees of Ink & Iron (Hilary Noack)

There’s no doubt that the automotive industry is a male-dominated one. Be it good or bad, women in the industry often receive different treatment than men. And among the public, some women feel uncomfortable buying, selling, or fixing vehicles.

Hilary Noack, 29, hopes to help fix that. She’s planning to open up an autobody shop in Toronto called Ink & Iron. And it will have all female employees.

In the past, Noack has worked with autobody shops such as Legendary Motorcar and 427 Auto Collision, and she is currently teaching auto body repairs at Centennial College’s campus on Warden Avenue at Ashtonbee Road.

Noack is opening her business on April 1. She used a crowdfunding website, Indiegogo, to get pledges from people who are interested in what she is doing. The campaign has raised $4,347 — 22 per cent of the goal.

Noack says that she wants to bring something unique to the industry. She says that horror stories from other females in the industry was part of her inspiration, and she wants to help them. She wants to provide a positive educational environment for other female technicians and help them reach their goals.

“I think women in the auto business are constantly fighting an uphill battle,” says Noack. “Everything from people thinking they can’t, shouldn’t do this job; employers not wanting to hire you because you may be a ‘distraction’ to the other employees; sometimes you don’t get taken seriously and people brush you off.”

Noack wants women to be encouraged to pursue their passion in this field. She says that young women trying to get into the business should not get discouraged even if they do experience rough times — because if they really have passion for it, then no one can stop them. Her advice is be persistent and strong-willed about it, and to reach out to other females in the trade because those women know what they’re going through.

“Because you’re predominantly in a male-dominated field, you tend to stand out,” says Noack. “You can use this to your advantage. People will remember you. You have a chance to be a role model, and pave the way for a future generation of female technicians.”

To view her campaign video for Ink & Iron click here.

To help support Ink & Iron click here.