A trainee mechanic told today how she has been turned down for over 50 jobs – for being a GIRL.
Frustrated Hannah Mills, 18, said she has had dozens of applications rejected for a variety of bizarre reasons – including one experienced mechanic who said he couldn’t employ her because his wife would get JEALOUS.
The teenager said she has also missed out on jobs and placements on health and safety grounds because potential employers believe she isn’t strong enough to lift heavy car parts.
And she even had to give up on one placement at a small garage because the premises didn’t have a separate female TOILET.
The self-confessed tomboy, from Burton, Staffs., started studying mechanics due to her interest in motorbikes.
Hannah, who starts her final year at Burton and South Derbyshire College in September, had hoped to get work over the summer to boost her CV.
But despite sending 60 letters to different businesses Hannah – the only girl in her class – has not managed to secure a job.
And she thinks the reason is her gender, as many of her male classmates have managed to secure placements or part-time work during the holidays.
Yesterday she said: “It’s annoying really because I can’t really get anywhere – I’ve tried almost everywhere in the local area but have had no luck.
“I’ve struggled to get anything, even weekend work.
“I sorted out a placement to run alongside my course but the college said I had to give it up because the garage didn’t have a separate toilet for me to get changed in.
“I was told it was for health and safety reasons, it was ridiculous.
“The only way I could have carried on is if they’d built one, but it was only a small garage and the placement was only six months.
“I worry stuff like that makes places think employing girls is a hassle so it’s best not to bother.
“I went for one job before and the man said his wife would not be very happy if he employed a girl.
“It’s not to do with my ability, I really enjoy the course and get good grades – even my teacher has said I am as good or better than the boys.
“I just want my chance to prove I can do the same job as them.
“I’m determined to carry on and get a job but it does feel a bit like the world’s against me.
“What else can I do but keep trying, though?”
Hannah, who works part-time in a factory to earn extra cash, said she accepts it is unusual for girls to study mechanics.
She said: “When I first tell people they’re a little bit shocked at what I do.
“I guess I’m a tomboy but I don’t think I look like one.
“I’ll occasionally get dressed up to go on a night out but I’d much rather go out racing with my dad.”
Dawn Ward, Principal of Hannah’s college praised the teenager and said more young women should consider engineering careers.
She said: “Hannah is a fantastic example of a young motor vehicle engineer who will make a brilliant contribution to her industry.
“Colleges, schools and training providers are constantly trying to encourage more young females to enter engineering-based career paths and to highlight role models within industry for young women to aspire to.
“But employers must also be open to the benefits that diversity within their workforce will bring and ensure that their industries are welcoming to young females like Hannah.
“While many employers do take this responsibility seriously and recognise the positive impact workforce diversity plays in ensuring they capture and retain talented individuals in their business, others still have a long way to go.
“This means that UK businesses are missing out on attracting some of the brightest and best into their organisations, which could ultimately impact on their profitability.”