Tech Force CEO Jennifer Maher Empowers Women in Auto Tech

 

This March, we celebrate women leaders and women-led organizations with the annual kick-off of Women's History Month. The once week-long event became a month-long celebration in 1987, honoring the often-overlooked contributions of women to U.S. history. At Ford Fund, we are amplifying the work of our partner organizations who advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion in our communities. In the coming weeks, stay tuned for additional features with women leaders making an impact.

Building on decades of experience in nonprofit youth, education and workforce development, Jennifer Maher, CEO of TechForce Foundation, is cultivating a nationwide community dedicated to helping young people find a technical career that fits them. "I love waking up every day to advocate for students who need a different path from what the traditional education system has offered them," said Jennifer.

 

Reflecting on the future of the transportation workforce, Jennifer shared the journey of a woman who she met at TechForce a decade ago as a 16-year-old in a high school auto shop program. Over the years, TechForce has helped champion her to receive a NASCAR Brianne Davis scholarship towards post-secondary education, gain leadership experience, and secure her first job in the EV space. Now a successful Auto Tech, her story embodies Tech Force's commitment to supporting students through their transition to success.

 

Despite women representing less than 3 percent of all technicians, over 11 percent of TechForce grants are awarded to women - which is nearly all the women who enter the industry. Jennifer credits their mindful approach to storytelling and highlights TechForce's report, "Women Tech: Solving the Tech Shortage," for strategies to attract and retain women in transportation roles. She emphasized the ongoing need to create a truly welcoming industry saying, "Women want to and can do this work. They just need to be encouraged and supported to see themselves in these roles."

 

If you or someone you know is interested in pursuing a career as an auto-technician, consider applying for the Ford AutoTech Scholarship, backed by Ford Fund and Ford Dealers, is now open to students across 10 regions – Greater Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Kansas City, Memphis, Miami, Phoenix and Seattle. Ford employees and the community can contribute to TechForce's mission by becoming an ambassador, volunteering, donating, and celebrating the work of auto technicians.

Black and white image of female with shoulder-length hair wearing a light colored blouse

Jennifer Maher

Related Articles

A Spotlight on access: America's Largest Arab American Nonprofit

Feonix-Mobility Rising Drives Equity in Transportation to Our Impact