Life as a female motoring journalist

WOW’s editor, Juliet McGuire, shares her inspirational journey and advice in the motoring industry

When I started out in this industry ten years ago, things were certainly different. There weren’t many female motoring journalists and there certainly weren’t many young, blonde women within the industry. It was daunting and terrifying and it took me a while to find my feet.

I can’t say that it is completely different now, but the nerves and fear are no longer. I am writing this article not because I want to man-bash the industry, but because I want other women who are considering this as a career option to know the ins and outs and know exactly what they are getting themselves in to.

The world is still dealing with sexist issues, I am not sure that it will ever be entirely equal. And in male-dominated industries, you will always have the nay-sayers who don’t believe women belong. I still encounter this from time to time and it can infuriate me. But overall, most of the men I encounter are not only encouraging but also proud to share this space with me.

Also read: Female twins in the motoring industry prospering in a ‘man’s world’ 

If I am very honest with myself, and I say this with all due respect to my fellow female (or male) motoring journos, us ladies still have a long way to go before we are taken seriously within this industry. And that is not a bad thing necessarily. It means there is room to grow, room to improve and room to carve out our section of this weird and wonderful industry. There are days when I lack confidence when I lack the knowledge others believe I should already have when I lack the self-assurance I need and the days when I feel I would be better off just throwing in the towel. But what person, male or female, within any industry,  can honestly say they never have days or moments like these?

The lesson is, be exactly who you want to be. Do the job you want to do and do it well. Push back against those who make you feel less-than. Prove yourself to yourself, not to anyone else. Respect the way the industry works, but fight against the issues that make it imbalanced. And never let anyone else tell you that you don’t belong somewhere (here’s looking at you Trump!).

Are you in a male-dominated industry? What is your experience? Email us at womenonwheels@assocmedia.co.za