Inspiring Women in Automotive History

women in automotive

For some uplifting information and stories during this uncertain time, check out this post that highlights women in the motor industry and their heroic achievements! Encouraging young ladies to have mentors that show them what they can accomplish despite pushback from others or adversity can help boost resilience and confidence. 

With this historical timeline, learn and explore some of the tenacity and creative work of these women in automotive history. It includes interesting facts about their various careers, a few drawbacks many of these strong women faced and lessons we can take away from their adventures. Currently, there are many industries that are male-dominated, such as the automotive industry, so these stories can be used as inspiration and motivation for young boss ladies to go after their dreams and seek careers outside of the gender norm. 

Throughout history, many strides have been implemented and glass ceilings broken by these strong and tenacious women all over the world. From many equal rights policies that have been much needed and implemented to changing perceptions of women’s capabilities in people’s minds, the world has made a lot of progress compared to the days when women weren’t allowed to do things such as vote, work or even own property. However, women today still continue to face discrimination for being a woman, especially in male-dominated industries.

Women in Automotive

There are many industries that underrepresent women today, but one that is no stranger to this is the automotive industry. This industry is majorly fueled by the myths of women and driving. Based on a past study of the car and gender by a UCLA professor, Martin Wachs, a major finding that he highlights is that “the stereotype of the woman driver is one of the most persistent myths of American culture… systematically reinforcing the gender roles that pervade the larger society.”

Only 16 women in 2018 had executive positions across the world in Fortune 500 automotive companies. In the United States, although they dominate clerical work, only about 18 percent obtain mid-level and executive positions in the automotive industry. Since this study by Wachs had its foundation on a historical perspective, these stereotypes still affect women’s image in the auto and car industry, and still continues to do so.

These numbers may seem to be discouraging to many, but there have been plenty of trailblazing women throughout history and in modern times that have not only broken that glass ceiling but have opened the doors for other women to pursue careers in these male-dominated industries.

Honoring The Women in Automotive History

To acknowledge the fights, successes and even struggles that these women have faced, this historical timeline was created to highlight the top ladies as well as their huge contributions to the motor and automotive industry. From racecar drivers to engineers and math wizards, these women’s stories and lives are incredibly inspiring. 

Be sure to check out this visual below to explore more about the contributions of these women to the motor field and strong takeaways from their experiences.

This guest post was authored by Makenzie Pohl

Makenzie Pohl is a content creator who develops helpful and compelling stories. Her passion for digital marketing and creative writing has led her to cover unique topics ranging from travel to lifestyle. She calls San Diego, CA home and enjoys dining out, photography and traveling in her spare time.

Please include attribution to CarRentals with this graphic.

Infographic courtest of

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.