Patrice Banks is opening up the male-dominated automotive industry, bringing a fresh perspective to the status quo. By telling her story, she continues to makes history, through engaging talks, interactive workshops, authoring an informative car care guide, and the successful running of Girls Auto Clinic.
Passionate about equality and empowerment of women, business leadership, innovation, technology and STEM education, Patrice promotes positive messages for female inclusion and empowerment in the auto industry through her #sheCANic movement. Whether speaking to a room full of middle school girls, or national conferences with executives and CEO’s, Patrice inspires individuals, groups and businesses alike, to push boundaries, redefine success and tap into their full potential.
For more than 10 years, Patrice has wowed crowds, beginning her public speaking career at Dupont, presenting engineering results to top level executives. As a prominent orator, Patrice provides the perfect blend of energy, credibility, humor, grit, and a refreshing realness, to motivate audiences to action, beckoning them to break down barriers, find their purpose and achieve greatness.
With groups creating programs to encourage females to consider STEM, what is the biggest barrier to entry that is still prevalent today?
I don't think there is a barrier for women to enter STEM programs. We do really well with being inclusive with STEM programs and young girls. Really the barriers start when you do enter. It is important that women have mentors, a supportive professional or sponsor, and have a clear and possible path of career advancement. Women sign up for STEM but drop out because of how hard it is to make our contribution and be looked at as equal intellectuals in this space. As women, it is our responsibility to speak up and let our voices be heard. You can't make it in any profession and definitely not a male-dominated profession if you are not confident in yourself.
What or who inspires you?
People who are not afraid to be their authentic self. You feel it when you are around them. It's inspiring and they are often doing incredible things with courage and grace!
What is your proudest moment/accomplishment?
I hire female auto mechanics and all of them have told me this is the best paying job they have ever had and they love the working environment. To be able to empower women to take care of their families by working in a profession they love that previously didn't hold a space for them is why I work hard and do what I do every day. It makes me proud that what I have created is serving its purpose and empowering women all over the world!