I am determined to continue learning throughout every day of my life. It certainly is one area of that process.
The family business aspect of GRM is one of my favorite things about it, and one of the things that I talk about when I make a recommendation.
Terrific post Tim. Good on you for recognizing your preconceptions and being willing to address them.
Thank you for posting this!
Everyone, please take a read.
The new counter person at our local auto parts store is young woman fresh out of school. I always go to her because I appreciate the fact that she’s there learning an automotive trade and I know she is feeling kind of out of her league. Most of the customers are men and most of them will do their best to avoid dealing with her which can be kind of handy because there is never a lineup at her counter. Those are do are sometimes very condescending and it irritates me. There are things she doesn’t know yet but for the most part she’s very competent and gets me my parts without any drama.
Nice post. I can say Mrs. NYN doesn’t really enjoy the car hobby like I do but she is the leader, the one that keeps my entire family going in the right direction and without her running the show I would never have had the successes in life that I have so far.
Oh and the movie was great, really makes you think about how people are pre-judged
9/15/23 10:01 a.m.
My oldest daughter has been doing her own car repairs for years. Not just oil and tune ups but going as far as transmission replacements. Very proud of her.
I’ve found that women are better long range planners and ensure execution of everything along the process and steps of the plan. How they manage to do it without a whiteboard in the garage with items written down months ago, that haven’t been crossed off, or even started, yet dare not be erased, is beyond me. Guys, well, we’ll laser focus on completing a task, possibly a complex or difficult one then bang out chest over the sense of accomplishment, as opposed to realizing that it’s merely an single step of the greater process.
I just hope that when more women start taking on larger project vehicles, then when it’s time to load them on the trailer they still allow us to strap them down with a half turn in the strap, ratchet tight, give it a good shove and proclaim that it’s not going anywhere.
9/15/23 11:23 a.m.
This is a classic case of “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”.
Motorsports and the car hobby are great because they are results orientated. We respect the accomplishments of people regardless of whether or not they are man or woman…………….period.
One doesn’t need a Barbie movie or bias training……………….all you need is “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”.
If you do you’re likely going to feel very silly later……….
I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say VIR wouldn’t even exist today if it wasn’t for Connie Nyholm among others.
And my wife, who isn’t a “car person,” does notice when a F1 broadcast features Bernie Collins’ expert commentary, or a camera shows a female engineer or mechanic toiling away on the pit wall or in the garage, right there among the men. Or when I stream the ADAC Nurburgring 24 and they show the all-female Giti Tires team, or the WEC’s Iron Dames.
She also perked up during an interview with racer/owner Samantha Tan and Aurora Straus, both of whom (along with Katherine Legge, Christina Nielsen, Taylor Hagler, and too many more) could show this aging duffer the fast way around any track on any day ending in “Y.”
That’s a lot of words to say ignore the talent at your own risk. The stopwatch doesn’t lie.
9/15/23 1:01 p.m.
Drag racing is way ahead for some reason. Since Shirley, women have routinely done extremely well, up to the Angelle, who basically dominated bikes and now Erica Enders, who is looking more and more like she’ll have the most Pro Stock championships in history by the time she retires, and Britney Force, along with a bunch of others.
In these modern times even having a women’s division in any sport is sexist. Motorsport is a team effort but we don’t report on the crews that put a car across the line first, we always heap the accolades on the driver. So what difference does the driver’s plumbing have to do with any of this? My crew chief Matthew keeps me running, in the place I need to be … when I need to be there, tire temp checks, tire pressures, But how do the result sheets read … car, maybe sponsor, and driver.
If the driver of the car is a female (girl or woman) then her name is on the sheet. Making a special effort to recognize an effort, by a female, equal to a male, is sexist. My wife would much rather be in her craft room quilting than in the shop with me getting greasy. Should I think better about a different female that would rather be in the shop than quilting? Are you saying my wife is less a woman because she doesn’t like to go to the track with me?
We should recognize the efforts of everyone on a race team …. regardless of ther reproductive organs. [/rant]
My ex- is very much a car person, although she has almost zero interest in motor sports (maybe mild interest in vintage racing). Has her own tools and can use them when she has time to work on one of her 6 cars. She is way better at planning to seeing a project to completion in a timely manner than I am. Ages ago she tried autocross, but despite her better than average driving skills didn’t want to deal with the learning curve of competition.
In reply to rhenry01 :
I tried to give you an upvote for this, but clicking thumbs up showed a -1 on my end? I have no idea what the hell happened!
In reply to rhenry01 :
I don’t think it’s about seeing specific females as better, more about not seeing them as any less than a male doing the same thing. (ala the parts counterperson example)
In reply to drtalon123 :
That means the post had two downvotes and your upvote canceled one of them out, leaving it at -1.
9/15/23 3:17 p.m.
On a personal note:
I am married to a woman of color and if you hired her or treated her preferentially simple because she is a woman and or the fact that she’s black she’d be pissed at you.
I despise anything that remotely resembles implicit bias training. Why?
Because my Great Grandfather was a black man from Cuba (Google Claytonia Dorticus); while outwardly I look like the 89% white guy I am, I’m also aware of all my mother went through. She grew up in an Irish neighborhood (her father was Irish) and suffered all sorts of racial taunts. So when some patronizing putz tries to tell me I don’t understand they get an earful.
I feel the same way about racing; the person who coached me to become a competent off road rider just happens to be a former AMA Women’s National MX Champ…….I sought out her advice because I knew she was best qualified to help.
Do note I appreciate Tim’s honesty…………………..
A long time ago there was a young woman in my high school class (Class of 1961). Not only was she very attractive and an honor student, she was easily the best mechanic in the class. She had her own car (back then they were hot rods) which she tended to with great skill. I was very fortunate to know her as she instilled a respect for women’s ability in all fields.
9/15/23 4:37 p.m.
In reply to dbmoore :
There was a really petite young lady in my high school who was an avid cyclist.
So these guys, based on her size thought they’d go on a ride with her as how fast could she possibly be…………….she wiped the floor with them……………I laughed so hard as they retold the story. I find any sort of macho nonsense tiresome. The poor guys treated her so much different after that.
Treat everyone like a person. I just approach whoever, say hello, and then talk to them like people. I even do this with toddlers. I refuse to do the baby talk thing. You never know what a person is interested in and what they know until you talk to them. The young lady that works at my local parts store is incredible. The fact she wants to be there and likes cars really shows. She drives an old OBS too. One of my colleagues at work his girlfriend (I predict they get married soon) is big into cars. She keeps me informed of all the local car shows. She has an RX-8 that was a cheap buy with a blown engine (go figure). She probably has enough parts to build a 4 rotor if she wanted. She and he also have an old MB 380 SL Vert they take to Euro shows. It’s gorgeous. He is also the only person I know with a new 400Z.
I have car friends, cheeseburger friends, wine friends, and cycling friends. Some are men, some are women. Some are from all over different parts of the world. Some of my friends cross categories. They are all people. We all have far more in common than anyone ever thinks. The continued focus on our differences creates more problems than it solves.
Katie and I were talking about this at the RallyCross Challenge held earlier this week in WV. Specifically the different attitudes in rallycross vs autocross. Maybe autocross garners more dorky engineer nerd type “omg I am talking to a girl wat do” people? But rallycross was always my cone smashing home so I never really experienced autocross enough to see it.
Rallycross has always, IME, had husband and wife teams, or boyfriend and girlfriend, or now lately parent and daughter (Hi Bill and Becca!) and it has always seemed to be on equal footing. Unless you have Brianne Corn in your class, in which case nobody is on equal footing with her . It has always seemed to be, like, okay, what tire pressure are you running, how are you taking that corner, when is the lunch truck going to show up? One local, Valerie, is a true car person in the GRM sense and she is always going on about sorting out the carb on her latest acquisition or finding a diamond in the rough unicorn or what have you.
I specifically told Katie during this conversation that when she inevitably beat me, it wasn’t because I wasn’t trying or anything
In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :
A few years back, the shop where I was working was expanding and hiring. One of the applicants happened to be female. The manager brought it up and asked us how we would react to that. my only thought was as with anyone else – how are their skills, are they able to grow and learn, the usual things that make for a good technician.
Watch WRC service parks sometime, you’ll see a nonzero number of women mechanics. If they were not skilled and able to hustle, they would not be there.
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) said:
We all have far more in common than anyone ever thinks. The continued focus on our differences creates more problems than it solves.
well worth repeating
Yes days could be spent on this topic alone.
In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :
In TX there are two people you don’t want in your class, Brianne C. and Blanton P. :). Blanton is still the only person to drive my car faster than I ever did. Of course Brianne never drove it :).
Shirley Muldowney doesn’t get talked about nearly enough. She beat everyone in 77, 80, and 82. I can’t think of another women who’s not just won races, but whole championships.