TRAVIS SVIHOVEC Bismarck Tribune
The car on the hoist at Capital Heights Auto Clinic in Bismarck, North Dakota needs a new catalytic converter. Morgan Kraft — an air wrench in her hands and a penlight in her mouth — wastes little time in getting the old converter out and the new one in.
It’s not something she thought she’d be doing eight months ago when she started doing oil changes in the shop’s lube department. She’s the lone woman among seven mechanics at the shop.
In 2020, about 9% of workers in the U.S. automotive repair and maintenance industry were women, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are about 743,000 automotive technicians in the U.S. and less than 2% — fewer than 15,000 — are women.
Kraft in April joined the staff and thought she’d be staying in the lube department. Her transition to what she calls actual repairs started with her boss one day saying, “Go do this,” Kraft said.
“I figured it out,” she said.
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She soon found herself working on tires and brakes and doing wheel alignments. She now does exhaust work, front end