DATE: MARCH 31, 2018
FREE MUSEUM PROGRAM
The automotive world, and the car culture that surrounds it has frequently been seen as male-dominated. Design, engineering, manufacturing, and motorsports were traditionally seen as domains of men. However, this image tends to mask a long history of involvement of women in the creation, production, and use of cars. From Bertha Benz’s contributions to the first practical car, through pioneering efforts by many other women to break into automotive industries, women have played an important role in the history of the car.
This is particularly true when looking at the present. Despite some continuing obstacles, women have established themselves firmly in all aspects of the automotive industry. Women have become lead designers and champion racers. Women have influenced how and why we produce cars. And women have brought attention to how traditionally male-dominated subjects can benefit from female voices, in turn serving as inspiration for a new generation of automotive enthusiasts.
Drawn from a variety of fields and occupations, these women discussed the genesis of their interest in cars and how they were able to pursue this passion.
About the Panellists:
Kristin Cline - Editor-in-Chief at Driving Line and founder of GreaseGirl.com, a place to learn, share and delve into hot rodding lifestyle. Her desire to own a classic car encouraged her to explore mechanics and she fell in love with working in the garage. She's been encouraging ladies to do the same ever since and currently teaches beginner car care classes to empower females to get educated and have fun with their cars.
Amber Blonigan - Owner of Gi Automotive Group, one of Los Angeles' leading repair and performance shops. She started Gi 14 year ago, she has built GI with her consummate passion and experience in the exotic car world. Amber has done a lot of the heavy lifting in the industry to get people to see through the perceived gender stereotypes. She has no problem getting her hands dirty and enjoys the constant challenges the auto business presents. In her spare time, Amber contributes to women's domestic abuse shelters, pitbull rescue and being the best mom for her children Claudia and Luke.
Aimee Shackelford - First started as a sales manager for Luxury4play.com and later promoted to VP of Sales and Marketing. She would later go on to create Exotics On Cannery Row, a three-year-old event that has been voted the number one show to attend during Monterey Car Week. She has also been the manager for the past nine years of goldRush Rally and Fuel Run. She is also the founder of Social Bolt, a marketing agency that strictly works with automotive companies.
Toni Avery - At age sixteen entered her first racing school and to date has completed fifteen schools with her latest affording her an SCCA full competition race license. She began writing for TEN and European Car while also starting her own automotive website GirlsDriveFastToo. She has done PR for JMPR and currently works with AMCI as a performance driving instructor.
Jessica Chou - Also known as Jesiscann on YouTube, she is a girl power enthusiast with a mission to inspire girls to learn about cars through DIY tutorials. She held an in-person experience at the LA Auto Show called Girls' Pit Stop that was widely successful. She teaches about the importance of basic car maintenance and repair. She has been featured on Forbes 30 Under 30, several female empowerment sites, and news publications.
Paulina Michaels - A Russian-American producer and actress. She became more involved with racing when producing a car show for kids, made by kids. When coming to different types of racing competitions, Paulina realized that there were still not that many women in the motorsports and that gave her an idea for another TV-show "Fast Girls" which goal is to give opportunities to female drivers achieve their goals. While developing the show, Paulina created a social media platform "Fast Girls TV" to promote motorsports to women all around the world, inspire those who have interest in racing but are afraid to start and bring attention to the young women drivers of today.