Patrice Banks used to fear she was being taken advantage of when she visited the auto mechanic shop, she recently told NBC News.
Surveys confirm the stereotype we know: Women are less likely than men to know basic car care. Nearly 50 percent admit to calling a spouse for help with auto-related problems, while nearly 30 percent say roadside service is their go-to. Add to that the facts that most mechanics are men, and studies have shown that women are more likely to be overcharged, and you’ve got an environment that most women feel uncomfortable in.
Banks is changing all of that. She founded Girls Auto Clinic in Philadelphia to empower women to feel comfortable asking questions about their cars, and to provide an overall more pleasant auto-repair experience. Her shop’s female mechanics, or “shecanics,” take the time to go over each step with customers. Banks also hosts free monthly workshops where she shares simple, straightforward lessons and tips on car maintenance.
Perhaps the most brilliant part of Banks’ business? Her auto clinic’s waiting area doubles as a salon, so customers can get their hair and nails done while their car’s getting a tune-up. Curious about the whole setup? Check out the full story, and a video here.