Stephanie's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Technicians

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Diamond Bar, CA

STEPHANIE MARTINEZ

Senior Coordinator, OEM & Product Development
SEMA Garage

“If a woman can follow her passion, do it, be successful in it, and live her dream, that’s success.”

INTERESTS:

Engineering Technology

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Confidence Transitions Goals Fulfillment Hard Work Exploration Acceptance Perseverance Determination Societal Pressures Choices Opportunity Negativity Struggle

FOUNDATION:

Accomplishing Goals

TAGS:

accomplishments, advice, automotive industry, continually learning, doubt, dreams, empowerment, female, follow your dreams, gratification, helping others, minority, motivation, network, passion, product development, promotions, recognition, sema garage, trust

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Currently serving as the Senior Coordinator at the SEMA Garage in Diamond Bar, CA where she is in charge of overall logistics.
  • Originally wanted to become a cosmetologist, but after getting pregnant at a young age, she felt she needed a more steady paycheck.
  • She started out by bouncing around different companies in their customer service departments, until she eventually landed a job at Yokohama Tires.
  • With that job, she says she “fell” into the auto industry—worked her way up at Yokohama for the next ten years learning everything she could about cars.
  • Encountered a lot of gender bias early on; for one interview, she was blindfolded and tested on whether she could identify tires by their tread, which was not something they did to male applicants.
  • Viewed it as a personal challenge to see if she could do it—ended up feeling empowered by the fact that she was the only woman in her department.
  • Says that first impressions have often worked against her—she constantly struggles to gain people’s trust and prove that she does know what she’s talking about.
  • Believes that women interested in going into the auto industry are lucky because they have the benefit of a growing pool of women who are genuinely interested in helping you succeed.

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