MADISON, Wis. – Dutch’s Auto Service Inc. is packed with all the sounds and sights of a typical auto repair shop.
“We do a lot of regular maintenance, oil changes, brakes, suspension, tune-ups,” said co-owner Crystal Rossman.
Except that’s not so typical; at Dutch’s Auto Service, women are the majority, not the minority.
“It’s not about fingernails and high heels. We do what we do and we’re upfront and honest about it,” co-owner Nan Mortenson said.
For more than a decade, Mortenson and Rossman have been empowering more women to enter the profession.
“As a woman, I had to work a lot harder,” Rossman said. “In some cases, the men are stronger, but the women are more dexterous and detail-oriented.”
Mortenson has been in the business for 35 years.
“I like puzzles, I like challenges and figuring things out,” she said. “I was brought up with people who worked on cars.”
Rossman always loved cars growing up, but a career as a mechanic was the furthest thing from her mind.
“My family is pretty traditional, so I’m supposed to do girly stuff,” she said.
After college, she realized that the 9-to-5 office environment wasn’t for her.
Working on cars is eventually where she found her footing.
Customer Robyn Roberts said the service provided by Nan and Crystal cannot be found elsewhere.
“When I first came across Dutch’s I walked away wanting to scream and let everyone know this place is amazing,” Roberts said. “I feel like it was important for Nan to make sure I knew what was going on and was informed about what was going on in my car.”
“That’s why we do what we do,” Mortenson said.
In addition to making the repair process understandable for their customers at Dutch’s Auto Service, women are in the driver’s seat of their car repairs.
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