Katy Malia, a mechanics and automotive teacher at Gateshead College, is fighting against stereotypes and wants to encourage other women to do the same, reports the Chronicle Live.
“I got into mechanics originally because whenever I was taking my car to the garage, it was very male-dominated, I felt like mechanics sometimes treat you differently because you’re a girl, so I wanted to learn how to do it,” explained Katy.
“I’d never really thought about being a mechanic, that sort of thing was never an option, never something talked about to girls at school.”
Message to girls
Katy was working in a call centre before she made the decision to take her first steps into being a mechanic, working in a garage which was ran by a woman.
She continued: “It’s quite rewarding, just being able to take something that’s broken and fix it.
“I’d tell girls considering mechanics, don’t worry about the stereotypes, work through it.
“Work with employers, don’t be afraid to say something to employers if something’s not right, or if there is any type of bullying.”
Inspiring younger generations
Supported by Katy, Gateshead college is involved in a drive to get girls involved with STEM subjects across Europe and recently hosted a tech event for girls, which attracted international industry experts.
Passionate in her fight against subtle messages in society hinting that practical careers aren’t for women, Katy visits primary schools in order to inspire younger groups of students to consider careers in tech.
“Battling against unconscious bias”
She said: “We are battling against an unconscious bias in people that ultimately means that by the age of 16 or 17 there are very few women studying STEM subjects, which lead to good jobs, and jobs in sectors where there is a skills gap.
“It’s something we need to change because there’s absolutely no reason why these careers aren’t for girls.”
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