Oil changes. Many of our cars need them, and when that little light turns on, we need to find a place to get it taken care of.
You pull in, step out, then head to the waiting room to pass the time on your phone or buried in a book until a technician comes to tell you that your service is complete.
But, at one Jiffy Lube in Oceanside, you may notice something unique.
“I feel like you don’t really typically see, like, a girl working on a car,” Itzel Reyes Rosas said. “It’s like mainly all men in this industry.”
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Reyes Rosas is a female technician at the Jiffy Lube on Oceanside Boulevard, and she’s not the only one.
There are three technicians at that location who are women, Reyes Rosas along with Myami Faerber and Precious Soto. They happen to be led by a manager who is also a woman, Sydney Stelse.
“I think it’s very empowering for women to come in here and be able to talk to us and relate to us,” Stelse said. “It’s trust.”
The four of them have been working together for a few months. They said that a even handful of female technicians is not something many of their customers are used to seeing.
“I get a lot of ‘wow, I’ve never seen a woman in this type of industry or working in this type of field,'” said Soto.
Most of the people who come in and hand their keys off are supportive, but once in a while they are underestimated or second-guessed.
“Honestly, it makes me a little upset,” Faerber said. “But, then I feel better because I show them like, ‘oh, I know this, this and this. Do you know how to do that, this and this?’ and then they kind of sit there and they’re like, ‘umm no.'”
“I’ve got like guys who tell me, ‘do you know what you’re doing?’ and I’m like yeah!,” Reyes Rosas added.
The group has found that what truly unites them is their love for cars.
Reyes Rosas dreams of being a master technician and building her own engine someday. Soto grew up around boys who would work on their cars, and now she is her family’s go-to when they have car troubles.
For Faeber, she first fell in love with cars because of her grandpa.
“He taught me how to change tires, change brakes, do brake fluid flushes,” Faeber said. “Things like a normal person, or a woman, wouldn’t be taught because they are looked at as a woman, which is lower than.”
Stelse was going to beauty school, but then started working at Jiffy Lube as a courtesy technician, vacuuming and washing windows, and continued climbing the ladder.
“This completely changed my life and I’m glad I did it, so I encourage everybody else, hey, step out of your comfort zone,” Stelse said. “Do what you love, it is in your heart.”
Stelse said she works directly with recruiters and is starting to see more and more female applicants.
Overall in the Southern California region, only about 20% of workers in the field are women, according to Cody Kaidder, the regional vice president who oversees the area.