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#WrenchingWomenWednesday with Katie French, featuring Edica Suarez

Each week for Wrenching Women Wednesday, we focus our efforts on shining a light on Women in Automotive and their journey’s in automotive. This week, we would like to introduce Edica Suarez, Automotive Technician at Volvo of Memphis, Tennessee. Some of Edica’s accomplishments include:

  • Women in Automotive Scholarship recipient
  • AutoZone Scholarship recipient
  • UTI Graduate

This is Edica’s story

“I started in the restaurant industry, slowly making my way to Line Cook for eight years until I realized that I didn’t want to retire in that industry. I’ve known since I was a little girl after watching Michelle Rodriguez in The Fast and the Furious that I wanted to be a mechanic. But, as the old story goes, there wasn’t anybody around me that was willing to teach me. My father was a ‘shade tree’ mechanic, but he passed away when I was six so I didn’t have anybody in the industry to introduce me to anything. Honestly, it wasn’t until I started dating my boyfriend eight years ago that anybody would talk to me about cars! He sparked my interest again! He would talk about cars to me like I actually knew what he was talking about, and if I had any questions, he had no problem answering the ones he could. His behavior really made me want to be part of the industry.

A few years later, I decided to leave the restaurant as a cook and enroll into UTI. I really haven’t had any big struggles. The industry has been so welcoming of me as a female. I know there are definitely other women, some of my friends especially, who aren’t getting the same treatment. The most misogynistic thing that I’ve experienced has been from a few other women in the field. Some were advisors and service managers- so, I definitely know it’s still a thing for us to deal with.

My advice for women wanting to get into the field is to just be yourself. Don’t worry about proving to everyone that you belong in this field. Your skills will do that for you. Always stick up for yourself. If you’re at a shop that doesn’t offer respect, go to another and then another until you find the right one. There are tons of shops out there, and they need us more than we need them. As time went on, I jumped at every opportunity to take courses and seminars to learn anything that I could. I wanted to work in many departments and learn various skills. I just kept going up from there.”

-Edica Suarez

About Katie French

Katie French is an Automotive Repair Expert at RepairPal. Her love for the automotive industry began at a young age learning how to fix bicycles and driving around the neighborhood in a pink Power Wheels Jeep. To pursue a career in the field, Katie attended NEIT for Advanced Automotive Technology out in East Greenwich, RI. Since graduating from the automotive program, Katie has worn many hats in the auto industry over the years, and has treated every day as a school day. She currently is working toward a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Management with a concentration in Fleet Management from Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, MO. In her free time, Katie enjoys empowering women in skilled trades, Jeep builds, and spending time with her family.

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