We recently caught up with Ffion Moon, a Preparation Technician from the UK. Ffion gave us insight into why she joined the automotive industry, what her current job role entails and the struggles she has faced being a woman in the industry.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in the automotive industry?
I am Ffion Moon, a 22 year old Preparation Technician at Motorpoint UK. I have always held a keen interest in the automotive industry. I suppose this can be attributed to my enjoyment of a practical work environment and growing up surrounded by engineers.
When I was 13 my father and I bought a classic 1989 Austin Mini. The goal was to completely disassemble, repair, and re-assemble the vehicle with the aim of getting it MOT certified, along with making it a little easier on the eye. It was quite a shed. This was my first real interaction with an automotive project and I credit pursuing my current career to it. The experience I gained was vital, and it was a really enjoyable experience to share with my Dad.
After we had finished restoring the Mini, I knew this is what I wanted to do for a living. I found the qualifications required to become a technician and decided to go to college.
What qualifications/ certifications did you have to complete to become an automotive technician?
I achieved an IMI Level 3 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance over three years. Here I gained much needed practical and academic knowledge and experience that laid the foundations of my engineering career. It also created a base knowledge of engineering principles. This course proved vital to my development as an engineer, and as an individual.
What is it like to work at Motorpoint?
I currently work in Motorpoint as a preparation technician, where I want to take big steps in my career. Progression for me would typically mean I would go to a supervisor’s role and work my way up the ladder, as high as my potential and effort will take me. To reach the levels I visualise myself at, is going to take hard work, self awareness, and dedication.
Within my role I have to use my initiative, collaborate well, and solve problems. These are just some of the many skills needed to be an established automotive engineer, and the skills I always look to improve upon. The responsibility of my job role always keeps me level headed and inspires me to be better.
I’ve been working at Motorpoint for just over a year. I have access to educational courses that have helped me improve my confidence, technical ability, and my all-round performance. I have been involved in helping our local charities through volunteer work.
Would you say it’s hard being a woman in the automotive industry?
It is not dishonest to say that being a woman in an engineering field is difficult. In my experience, automotive repair can be even harder. My current work environment gives me the ability to challenge ideas, be innovative, and show leadership when necessary. I have had experiences throughout my career which were challenging, because I am a woman. These kinds of struggles can be tough, and going home from a hard day at work and feeling sometimes inadequate can take a mental toll.
To counter my previous statement, I would say that there are brilliant networks and structures in place to help women in STEM fields, such as the Automotive 30% Club which Motorpoint supports and works alongside to improve gender balance. I think that there is always room for improvement in this industry, and to scrutinise the norm and educate people that there is no disadvantage in this field just because of my gender. To have a level of self confidence that I can do whatever task comes my way and the determination to challenge anyone who says otherwise is very important.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to become an automotive technician?
My advice to anyone who is looking to become an automotive engineer, would be to throw yourself at every opportunity. This is an industry where many do not have the passion and drive to exceed expectations and push themselves to be better but the few who do, really stand out. Create support networks for yourself, and find people who are in similar situations. Enjoy your work, be self aware, and you will be successful.