Let’s face it – we tend to associate car technicians with the image of grease-stained wrench-wielding men. That’s just what we’re used to seeing. But at Jaguar Land Rover Cary’s service department, you’ll find a different image.
Meet Hope Bakker, one of the many women dismantling the traditional view of a car technician. We caught up with her to ask a few questions about life, cars, and what working in tech as a woman is like.
Hope Bakker, 23, Service Technician
Leith: Hey Hope, Thanks for taking some time out to talk to us today!
Hope: No problem!
Leith: So, what brought you to Jaguar Land Rover Cary (JLRC)?
Hope: I was at NTI (NASCAR Technical Institute) when I applied to Leith, so I graduated NTI on a Friday, and then I started working at JLRC on the following Monday.
Leith: And what sparked your interest in cars?
Hope: Well my dad had a Rambler Rogue growing up, and we used to go to car shows almost every weekend in the summer. Then one day after I moved out, my car broke down and I didn’t have any money to take it to the shop. So, I figured out what was wrong with it – I don’t know how, but I did – and I got enough money to get the parts. Then after plenty of blood, sweat, and tears I got the part on there. Once it was all done I fell in love with fixing cars.
Leith: Tell us about your career path to becoming a technician.
Hope: I moved from New York to North Carolina so I could go to NTI. I just decided I wanted to work on cars, and now here I am.
Leith: Were there a lot of other women at NTI?
Hope: No, on average there were about 15 to 20 girls.
Leith: And how many guys?
Leith: Wow. What kind of challenges did you face as a female in that predominantly male environment?
Hope: I think I started realizing I need to stand up for myself. Just not taking any crap and being more confident – which I’ve learned to do.
Leith: That’s great. What would you say to another woman considering a career as a technician?
Hope: Go for it. Don’t be scared. Learn everything you possibly can and don’t second guess yourself… They can smell the fear. (laughs)
Leith: Thanks for your time, Hope.
Hope: Thank you!
At Leith, we do our best to create an environment that is inclusive, fair, and comfortable no matter who you are. We strive for equal opportunity, and treat all of our employees like family. Just ask our CEO, Linda Leith, how we feel about women in the workplace!
We’d like to give a special thanks to Hope Bakker for sitting down with us to talk, and to Jaguar Land Rover Cary for the free coffee and donuts. Nothing says welcome home like free donuts. If you’re interested in learning more about JLRC, visit their website, give them a call, or stop by their dealership and say hello! Want to work as a technician? Send us your resume here.