Patrice Banks : A Story Of A Female Engineer Who Empowers Black Women Through Her Automechanic Institute

By Duchess Magazine


“Women will take care of a $300 bag better then they take care of a $25,000 car, you know, and that’s a shame,” Banks said.

The statement made by Patrice Banks is so true. It is really unfortunate so many women have luxury handbags, clothing and shoes they take better care of than the car that drives them to and from work each day.

However, many women are intimidated by cars, auto mechanics and even looking under the hood of a car. It is something that has been well ingrained into women over the decades by our society whose sees a woman’s role as a homemaker, cook, rather than someone who can change the oil, rotate tires and change an air filter.

shecanic“I think that it’s almost the culture ingrained that women don’t understand cars,” Banks said during a CBS News interview. “We’re taught very young – ‘That’s for guys you’re not going to get it. Let a man handle it.’”

Despite the rules defined in our society, this young black woman is taking aim to change all of this for ladies interested in not being intimidated by their car or auto mechanics.


Patrice Banks started Girls Auto Clinic to educate women on auto mechanic repairs. Banks is a materials engineer and use to work for DuPont, but still didn’t know much about cas until she decided to ditch the intimidation, educate, and empower herself and others.

“I feared the auto mechanic. I waited until the last minute to do repairs. I even put a Facebook status up six years ago that said, ‘My car really needs an oil change, but I’m going to get a mani-pedi instead.’ And I did,” Banks said to CBS News during an interview.

She went back to school to educate herself on the mechanics of automobiles, worked for free on weekends at a local car repair shop, and now runs Girls Auto Clinic where she provides free monthly classes aimed at teaching women  the basics of automobile repair and maintenance.

The goal is to empower women not to be intimidated by their cars, trucks and SUVs.

Why women?

“It’s not just women. I tell people all the time, I cater to women. I love men, but I cater to women because I’m a woman, I know what it feels like, the stereotype with women,” Banks said.

“Change the relationship you have with it. You know, the first time I was able to change my light bulbs I felt so good,” Banks said. “You know, it was like, ‘I am woman, hear me roar. Patrice: 1, Car: 0’ kind of a thing. I felt like I won. I didn’t feel defeated by it anymore.”



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