When you’re a female mechanic, you’re used to being in the minority. But as the newest addition to our Aston Martin Cheltenham Aftersales team, Ellie Lewis, will tell you, it doesn’t take long to prove you’re where you deserve to be.
“I was the only girl on my course, out of about 30 of us, but by the time we got to level three the majority of the lads had dropped out – it was down to about 10.” Most had underestimated just how complex a modern car could be, but Ellie knew she had to study and prepare. Having spent a lot of time on her best friend’s farm growing up, or down at Santa Pod Raceway on the weekends, she was surrounded by bikes, cars and the things that make them go – and the things that mean they can’t go.
“I didn’t come away from school with much but I knew that I wanted to be an engineer or a mechanic,” says Ellie. “People would say ‘are you sure you want to do that?’ but for me it was never even a question. My apprenticeship out of college with an Audi and Volkswagen specialist was honestly the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”
Having spent five years working with other brands, Ellie now fulfils a dream in working with Aston Martins and has just recently been handed her Green Excellence Award, making her one step closer to the Gold Award. “The engineering in these cars is completely different; I just worked on my first V12 engine very recently. In terms of the time spent working on them and the quality of the cars, this is a huge step up.”
The beauty and power of the DBS has already caught Ellie’s eye and, having recently passed the advanced driving exam necessary to test drive vehicles, she’s often behind the wheel of her new favourite Aston Martins. “Driving the cars is one of the most important parts of the work we do. You don’t really know a vehicle until you get it out on the road, properly feel everything, understand the functions of the vehicle and listen for anything out of the ordinary.”
For Ellie, it’s not enough to simply be one of the few female technicians in the world of high performance cars, she wants to shine, and she wants to bring more women along with her. “I think I’ve got a lot of drive, and I want to do everything I can to make sure women know this a job they can do. In nearly every day I’ve had as a technician I’ve had nothing but support from my co-workers – if you prove yourself capable, then you belong.”
With Ellie’s drive she intends to be a beacon for all female technicians, dedicated to working her way up through the business, getting her, Silver and Gold Awards along the way. But there is another goal just out of sight. “Being with Aston Martin in Formula One would be an absolute dream.” Based on where she is today, you wouldn’t want to bet against her…
Click here to book your Aston Martin in for its next Service or MOT with H.R. Owen Aston Martin in Cheltenham and Reading.