Hailey Martin and her Pink Toolbox are on the job at Blackstock Ford Lincoln
I wasn’t so many years ago that the thought of seeing a female working under the hood of a car would more likely have been a joke than reality. But thankfully, times are changing and a field that was once considered “man’s work” has opened up to include members of the fairer sex. The limitations that were once set by society have been challenged and reformed and young women like Hailey Martin are reaping the benefits.
Hailey, who is twenty-two, works at Blackstock Ford Lincoln in Orangeville as a Service Technician and she gets her interest in her vocation honestly. You see, Hailey’s father Jim is a heavy truck and coach technician, a field she’s been surrounded by and interested in her whole life. When she started high school at Mayfield in Caledon, Hailey took all the tech courses and then entered into a co-op program to see if it was something she’d really enjoy as a career. That co-op program placed her at Blackstock Ford Lincoln in Orangeville. After completing a speciality training program, Hailey graduated the Ford ASSET program with a 3.96 Grade Average (the highest ever achieved in the course), completed her apprenticeship and joined their team of 12 technicians.
When asked how it felt to be a girl being trained in a traditional male field, Hailey was very matter of fact in her answer.
“I knew it was going to be hard, and I knew it was going to be harder for me than it was for the guys I went to school with,” she said, “but I didn’t know it was going to be as difficult as it was. But it was nothing I couldn’t overcome… and here I am. If you want it bad enough, you do what you have to do”
Still living at home, Hailey gives a lot of credit to her parents. When she decided to take the specialized course to become a technician, her mother’s reaction was “Anything you want to do, I’ll support you. I know you’ll do fine.” With support like that, how could she fail?
Hailey’s pink toolbox is very special to her. A standard toolbox she purchased from Snap On tools, she made it one of a kind when she arranged to have it painted her signature pink. She muses that there must be a lot more female technicians out there now, because since she did that, Snap On has added a pink toolbox to their catalogues.
Penchant for pink aside, Hailey doesn’t think about the differences between men and women. “I never let “you’re a girl” come into play,” She said, adding “Growing up at my house, I was told ‘being a girl is not an excuse…lets go.”
Although the staff that Hailey works with day in and day out are the male technicians, there are a number of other women working at Blackstock, including Rennie Copeland (Warranty), Melissa Mouck (Parts), Alisa Fidani (Service Writer), and Kim Goddard (Customer Service). The ladies and the rest of the staff at Blackstock Ford Lincoln hope you’ll drop by the showroom on Highway 9 East in Orangeville the next time you are shopping for a new vehicle or in need automotive service.
Written by Shelly Sargent