Cox Automotive
660f3d1da40350001e8da911 Project Pink Cox Mobility

Cox Automotive technician highlights female techs with Project Pink

April 5, 2024
Project Pink offers pink uniforms to female techs at Cox Automotive, highlighting both the gender disparity among technicians and promoting breast cancer awareness.

Icie Hinton, a trailer technician out of a Fleet Services from Cox Automotive Mobility shop located in Indianapolis, doesn’t see many other women in her workplace. This isn’t surprising, given that the Women in Trucking Association found that on average, only 7.5% of technicians were women in their 2023 WIT Index.

The numbers are even worse according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which found that in 2023, 5.9% of commercial and industrial machinery and equipment repair and maintenance workers were women, while 12.3% of automotive repair and maintenance workers were female.

This isn’t to say that there’s been no progress for women in the industry. That WIT Index showed a 3.8% improvement in female techs from 2022, and events like HDA Women at Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week are working to provide connections and networking opportunities for women in the industry.

Cox Automotive itself offers the Women Who Wrench program, which is a yearlong mentoring program that pairs female technicians with women in leadership roles and their peers in other shops. Hinton, who took part in the program, explained that this helps women support each other and connect in ways they may not be able to at their own shops, giving them a space to exchange recommended practices and advice.

But Hinton wanted to do more than network with her female peers, which led to her development of Project Pink at Cox Automotive.

Project Pink at Cox Automotive

Project Pink provides female technicians with pink uniforms to cultivate both breast cancer awareness and normalize having women working in truck shops.

Plus, the new bright uniforms serve as a strong conversation starter, too, which Hinton hopes will drive all who see the fabric to ask “What would the future of the industry look like with more women and how can we get more women involved?” she explained.

Read more: Experts share how to increase number of female techs in the vehicle repair industry

To Hinton, the industry can tap into the other half of the population by marketing the trade to young girls and letting them know that they are welcome on the shop floor, too. This would also include making shops themselves more welcoming, both in their personnel and the buildings themselves.

“They should hire more women managers or maybe have more amenities that could help women,” Hinton noted. She recalled that she’s been to truck stops before where there were men’s and women’s bathrooms, but only one set of showers for everyone.

“It was almost like, ’Women are truckers, so they should be fine,’” Hinton recalled. This is where the pink uniforms come in, as they can “open the door to these conversations that say ‘Hey, women need different things, too.”

Even better, the trailer technician hopes that Project Pink will grow so that men can wear the uniforms as well, creating more awareness and breaking down gender stereotypes in the shop.

“Hopefully, it’ll open the right doors,” Hinton affirmed, as doing so could lead more women to follow her path. Additionally, the single mother wanted to show her son that he’s not limited by his gender in any industry.

“I've never really tried to put myself in masculine situations, but I always want to make sure that I can offer [my son] the best of both worlds,” Hinton explained. “So that when he’s an adult, he's well rounded. He knows how to change his brakes, and he knows how to do a haircut, and he can cook food.”

Son Wing, the lead trailer repair technician at Hinton’s shop and her mentor, promotes similar ideals as he’s helped guide and support her in the shop.

“[He] lets it be known that anybody can come, do something, and be appreciated,” she said.

And it’s that kind of inclusivity that Hinton hopes the pink uniforms will encourage, not just in her shop, but in the industry at large.

About the Author

Alex Keenan

Alex Keenan is an Associate Editor for Fleet Maintenance magazine. She has written on a variety of topics for the past several years and recently joined the transportation industry, reviewing content covering technician challenges and breaking industry news. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. 

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