On September 12th, Joanna Agosta Shere and I had the opportunity to be a part of a networking event hosted by the SBN (SEMA Businesswomen’s Network) called “Gear-Up Girl”. The SBN hosts a “Gear-Up Girl” event annually at the SEMA Show that brings women in the industry together to network and it’s always a good time. But this one was special- it was their first regional event AND it connected women already in the industry with female students studying to be in the industry!
The NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, NC hosted the event and many of its female students attended. The main feature was a panel of 5 women who are automotive industry professionals. They volunteered to speak that night in the hopes of helping other women working to pursue careers in the automotive industry. They had careers ranging from body work in racing to automotive technician to forklift technician to OEM vehicle engineer- these women were incredible!
The moderator gave them topics to speak on that covered many important subjects for those wanting a career in the industry- how they decided to go to tech school, how they ended up in their current career, how they decided where to work, what the biggest challenges and biggest benefits in their chosen career were, etc. They were all very down to earth and spoke openly about their past, present and even what they hoped to accomplish in the future and how they planned to make it happen. The valuable insights on both work and life that they shared inspired not only the students, but everyone in the room.
Throughout the evening I heard female students repeatedly saying that they were thankful for the event because they don’t get the chance to meet ‘other women like me’ very often; and that’s exactly what the SBN was striving for. Every SBN event aspires to be an uplifting experience of women supporting other women and opportunity to connect with like-minded people in a positive way, this event was no exception.
Joanna and I both look forward to our next “Gear-Up Girl” event at the 2019 SEMA Show in November. Many thanks to those who volunteer with the SBN to make great things like this happen!
The SBN is a community dedicated to the forward advancement of women in the automotive aftermarket industry. For more information about the SBN visit their website at: https://www.sema.org/council/SBN
For more information about the NASCAR Technical Institute visit their website at: https://www.uti.edu/programs/automotive/specialized-training/nascar
Raeia is the marketing coordinator at Steele Rubber Products and has a passion for cars and content marketing. She doesn’t have a favorite ride, but loves things that are beautiful, fast and loud!