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#WrenchingWomenWednesday with Katie French, featuring Louise Azzopardi

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 Louise Azzopardi, Tradeswomen Empowerment Coach, Heavy Vehicle and Plant Mechanic, and Technical Trainer and Assessor. Some of Louise’s accomplishments include:

  • Top 100 Women in Construction, 2020
  • Finalist- Women in Industry, Rising Star, 2020
  • Medallion of Excellence, Heavy Vehicle Maintenance, WorldSkills Abu Dhabi, 2017
  • HVIA National Apprentice of the Year- High Achievement, 2016
  • Gold Medal, Heavy Vehicle Maintenance, National WorldSkills Competition, Melbourne, 2016
  • Silver Medal, Heavy Vehicle Maintenance, Illawarra, 2015
  • 2nd Place in Stage 3, Heavy Vehicle Road Transport, 2014
  • Best Work Practices in Stage 2, Heavy Vehicle Road Transport, 2013
  • Best Work Practices in Stage 1, Heavy Vehicle Road Transport, 2012

This is Louise’s story

I started my apprenticeship in heavy vehicle mechanics with Cummins when I was 15- fresh out of school! It was an amazing experience, but it had its ups and downs with my mental health and also some harassment and sexism chucked in there.

I completed my apprenticeship when I was 19. A few months after I completed, I went and worked at a small workshop where we would work on anything that moved that was on a farm. I learned so much!

I then pushed a little too hard and had to take four months off due to being burned out. I was working on the tools forty hours a week, teaching at a women’s shed, speaking at schools and expos about my trade experience and mentoring other women in trades.

I decided that I wanted to do more for the industry and trained as a technical trainer and assessor, then started working at my local CAT dealer as an apprentice trainer and assessor. This job really opened my eyes to what so many people were going through. No one had taught them how to manage their mind and feelings. Poor communication in the shop, not being able to handle what was happening at home, anxiety and social pressure were causing them to struggle technically. This is what led me to become a life coach.

I now work one-on-one with women in any part of their career in trades to overcome anxiety, people pleasing, and society’s pressure to get where they want to go!

It is the most rewarding job, and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else!

– Louise Azzopardi

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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