Women in the Automotive Industry
Long before the women’s liberation movement, women have been making in-roads in hopes of leveling the playing field. The movement was inevitable, yet we continue to fight for gender equality today.
In 1900, Anne Rainsford French Bush was the first woman documented to have obtained a steam engineer’s license, entitling her to operate a “four-wheeled vehicle powered by steam or gas.” Fifty-two years later, Life Magazine reported on her and shared that she never experienced a single accident.
A woman by the name of Mary Anderson patented a window cleaning device in 1903, which is an early version of today’s windshield wipers, a necessity to use when raining or when you’ve parked under a tree.
The first woman to drive coast-to-coast (1909) was none other than Alice Huyler Ramsey, who also founded the Women’s Motoring Club.
Yes, we can!
As the sole owner of Beauty and The Beast Driving School / Porrata Tax Services, I am proud to be a woman in an industry that is largely dominated by men.
From a young age, many girls are led to believe and buy into the old stereotype that women are poor drivers. But the fact is, while female motorists account for over half of all licensed drivers in the U.S., they are also involved in far less vehicular accidents than men.
This makes women safer drivers. And safe driving does not necessarily mean slow driving, but generally speaking, women do not have the same “need for speed” like their male counterparts. Maybe it’s something to do with our natural inclination to be patient, more collaborative and less competitive than men.
As a woman, there’s power in obtaining your driver’s license. Take a look at Olivia Rodrigo’s first single from her freshman album Sour, which begins: I got my driver’s license last week. Despite the song largely being about heartbreak, there’s hope in that opening line.
The action of having obtained your driver’s license is liberating. You gain the ability to drive off into the distance, as they say. You can plan that road trip you’ve always wanted to take. You can just get up and go!
So what are we waiting for, ladies? Let's get up and go!