ChipsAway hosts empowering Q&A

ChipsAway franchise
ChipsAway ChipsAway are the originators of the SMART (Small to Medium Area Repair Technology) repair process.

Be your own boss with a turn-key ChipsAway franchise. ChipsAway guarantee that all new franchisees will receive a minimum of £80,000 worth of customer enquiries* in their first year and are given all the support and training needed to start a successful paint and bodywork repair business.

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ChipsAway honoured International Women’s Day by hosting a Q&A with some of the most inspiring women in the automotive industry.

ChipsAway hosted a Q&A with the founder of Womanic, the UK’s first all-female run automotive repair and servicing facility, to encourage more women into the automotive trade. As there’s currently a huge gender imbalance in the industry, with men outnumbering women ten to two, the van based franchise honoured International Women’s Day by talking to Louise Baker, who has proved that the automotive industry can be conquered by ladies.

Since founding Womanic in 2014, Louise has enjoyed the flexibility of running her own business and says that despite the fact that it’s been incredibly busy, she wouldn’t change a thing.

“Working for myself is one of the best things about my job, so I can plan around my daughter. That and the fact I love what I do!”

Franchisee Caroline Clennel, who runs her own ChipsAway branch covering Stroud and Cirencester, was also invited to participate in the Q&A. She explained why she decided to start up her own business through the franchise.

“I wanted to be able to run my own business, but in a field I love. I have always been mad about cars and I previously worked as a studio artist, so I knew I had some practical skills. It seemed a no-brainer. I still love fixing cars - every day is a different challenge. The biggest thrill is how happy people are with the work I have done. Nothing beats that "wow" from a customer when you hand back their pride and joy at the end of the day. Sometimes they ask me to thank my husband for his hard work and I love their reaction when I tell them it was actually me that carried out the repair!”

Louise explained that it was difficult to break into the automotive industry, but that her reputation now helps her to break down barriers. Caroline said that rather than being put off by the male-dominated industry, she sees it as a challenge.

“I feel I can really make an impact on the sector and stand out for being different. I am hugely inspired by Mary Portas and her book ‘Work Like a Woman’. She is an amazing business woman, who has excelled in a male-dominated environment.”

The pair also advised women to learn more about the automotive trade, even if they don’t want to enter it, to avoid getting ripped off by unscrupulous garages.

Louise concluded:

“You don’t need to be in the trade to know what you’re talking about. Get to know your car, what sounds it makes, maintain it. You'd be surprised what you can learn and what tools are available to help you.”

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