Girls Auto Clinic
Girls Auto Clinic (GAC) was founded in 2013 by Patrice Banks (Girls Auto Club Facebook)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the hands-on industry saw a massive increase in women emerging into auto repair shops, jumping from 4,000 female employees to 19,000 between 2020 and 2022.

Despite the recent incline, the US Bureau Of Labour Statistics notes that the mechanic's sector remains dominated by male employees. The latest statistics, published last year, show that women represent less than 12 per cent of auto repair shop employees.

Girls Auto Clinic has been dedicated to redefining the automotive world since it launched in 2013.

The all-female auto mechanic shop, which was the first to open in the US, has since been named the top trusted brand in automotive.

The shop is based in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, where it boasts car care memberships, car care education classes and hands-on mechanic workshops for women.

Patrice Banks said she started training to be a mechanic after avoiding taking her car to the garage.

Girls Auto Clinic
GAC aims to empower women to become "SHECANICS" and to own their automotive experiences (Girls Auto Club Facebook)

"I was tired of feeling helpless and having to go talk to a guy," she said, admitting: "I was afraid I was going to be taken advantage of."

While working as an engineer for DuPont, Banks said that she started to teach herself how to be a female car technician.

"I couldn't find a female mechanic, so I had to learn it [myself]," she added.

Girls Auto Clinic offers customers free manicures and pedicures while waiting in the garage.

The Girls Auto Clinic founder enrolled into a mechanics night school, where she was "the only girl with a bunch of boys." She said the male students were around 18 and 19 years old, while Banks was 31.

Banks ditched her six-figure engineering salary to learn more skills and started to work in garages in Philadelphia for free.

With more experience, in 2013, Banks opened Girls Auto Clinic.

Before she launched Girls Auto Clinic, Banks knew that she wanted women to enjoy bringing their cars to the garage.

"Women, it's like a chore, we hate going in to get our oil changed — it's always a chore, it's always a burden," she said.

The founder revealed that Girls Auto Clinic offers its customers a free manicure or pedicure, snacks and beverages, free Wi-Fi, television, and hundreds of books while they wait for their car to be fixed.

Girls Auto Clinic
GAC wants to empower women to be confident in purchasing and managing their vehicles (Girls Auto Club Facebook)

Banks said that her previous job inspired the complimentary features.

"Me and my girlfriend that I worked with at DuPont would go to this specific Jiffy Lube on our lunch break because there was a nail salon next to it. We'd drop our cars off and walk next door and get our nails done while we waited," Banks explained.

"We just thought we were the smartest people because it's lunch [and] we're killing three birds: We're out to lunch, we're getting our oil changed, and we're getting our nails done, and we're back at work all in about 45 minutes to an hour. It was fabulous, and we would do that every couple of months when we needed our oils changed."

To make her customers feel comfortable, predominantly women, Banks said that she shows her clients what is wrong with their cars and prioritises being honest and open.

Banks said: "Mechanics do a lot of diagnosing from hearing, seeing, feeling and smelling. So if we can hear, see, feel and smell it, so can you. So I'm going to show you what I'm looking for and feeling for, so you can feel comfortable and know this is what's going on with [your] car. ... It's just about transparency and communication."