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Alex Rawson profile

Alex Rawson

Alex Rawson wants to open her own business one day, which will be welcome news for women who’d like to be able to take their car to a female mechanic.

“I’m definitely on the right track. I’m hoping one day I can open my own business.”

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Brantford, Ontario

Area of Study
Automotive Technology

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auto mechanics

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Automechanics student muscles in on male-dominated territory

When you’re a young single mom with a thing for cars, it takes a boatload of courage to dive into the all-male domain of auto mechanics.

Alex Rawson had been out of school for 11 years, but she’d always loved tinkering with cars, and ultimately set her sights on becoming an auto mechanic.

“I’ve worked on cars from a young age and this is something I’ve always wanted to do,” she says. “I’m hoping one day I can open my own business.”

It’s a move that could well pay big dividends for Alex.

“Going into class I was really worried because it is male-dominated, but I honestly haven’t felt like ‘because you’re a female you shouldn’t be here.’ I haven’t felt that vibe. It’s all positive. Females can do what males do, I really believe that. I’m there to show females that they can do it.”

Statistically, women are buying more cars than men these days, and given that most can relate to being talked down to by a male mechanic at one time or another — if not downright ripped off by one — a female-run auto shop is just good business.

Alex, now 30, is grateful to Contact North | Contact Nord for helping her get started with going after the one high school math credit that had eluded her.

“I chose a program for college — automotive technology — but I still needed my Grade 12 math,” Alex says. “Contact North helped me with the whole learning process.”

Now in her first year of a two-year diploma in automotive technology at the Brantford campus of Conestoga College, Alex is confident she’s on the right track.

“Contact North has been really helpful in all the ways I needed, even after I was done completing my math credit,” Alex says. “They still contacted me, asking me if I needed help in my college courses, too, and that’s a really good thing.”

As with anything new, it hasn’t been a totally smooth ride. “I was out of school for so long. I almost felt at times like I really wanted to give up, thinking ‘I can’t do this,’” Alex recalls.

But she’s determined to see it through.

“Going into class I was really worried because it is male-dominated, but I honestly haven’t felt like ‘because you’re a female you shouldn’t be here,’ Alex says. “I haven’t felt that vibe. It’s all positive. Females can do what males do, I really believe that. I’m there to show females that they can do it.”