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Mother-of-two, 37, accuses the AA of 'sexism' after getting a letter referring to ALL their mechanics as MEN (3 Pics)

A FURIOUS woman has slammed the AA and accused it of sexism after receiving a renewal letter referring to mobile mechanics as men.
Rachel Ellingham, a computer programmer and mum of two, was shocked when she opened a letter from the motoring association confirming her renewal quote which read that "AA men are able to fix 8 out of 10 cars".
Rachel Ellingham, from Pudsey, West Yorkshire, was stunned when she opened a letter from the motoring association

The 37-year-old says that referring to staff as "men" rather than mechanics is a "damaging" example of everyday sexism.
She says that many girls and women would, as a result, believe certain job avenues are closed off to them.
But the AA denies it is "sexist" and says they have already changed the phrasing to "AA men and women" but are looking to change it to "mobile mechanics" in the next six months.
Rachel from Pudsey, West Yorkshire, said: “I received the confirmation about renewing with them on Monday and spotted the phrasing straight away.
“It popped up twice in the letter. The first time when it mentioned that you can ‘track the AA man on his way to you’ and again where it read ‘our AA men are able to fix 8 out of 10 cars’.

The letter sent to the mother proudly boasted that 'AA men are able to fix 8 out of 10 cars'

“I was shocked and felt a bit annoyed about it as I have two daughters aged seven and three and I don’t want them reading that kind of thing and thinking that they can’t be mechanics.
“It’s a little thing, but it’s casual everyday sexism and it all adds up. The letter effectively reads that AA men are coming to save them – not mechanics. It’s sexist and damaging.”
Rachel, mum to Mindy Ellingham, seven, and three-year-old Penny Ellingham, contacted the AA via social media and claims she was "disappointed" by their reply which suggested the wording was for customer clarity.
The tweet read: “We completed a survey and found this is what our members know them as and how they talk’.”
(From left) Katie Astbury, 18, from Derby, Jane Randle, 18, from Hucknell and Emma Lynam, 16, from Derby. They are some of the first women trainees on the AA Advanced Apprenticeship Programme at in their workshop in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, in September 2006

Rachel, who drives a red Ford Grand C-Max, said: “I’ve been with the AA for 15 years but with a reply like that it may not be 16 years – I thought they were better than that.
“I thought they would be more accepting of female mechanics, take my point seriously and change the wording.
“Attitudes are changing. Girls can grow up being anything they want to be, including a mechanic. The way this letter reads suggests only men can save people who are stranded.”
An AA spokesperson said that they have a number of female roadside mobile mechanics and are keen to welcome more.
The spokesperson said: “We do indeed have a number of our roadside mobile mechanics who are women and we would love to see more AA women in yellow vans on the road, helping members whose cars have broken down.
“We are looking for ways to attract more women, such as Rachel’s daughters, to join our mobile mechanic workforce.
“The AA is certainly not a sexist organisation and we are trying to adapt our language to reflect modern thinking but this is an evolving process.”
Cheryl Calverley, the AA’s marketing director said: “We are moving our language across all of our communication away from the historic description of ‘patrols’, which customers found confusing, unclear and a little intimidating.
“However changing language has to be done carefully, to ensure that we continue to communicate clearly with our vast and varied customer base.
“Our first step has been to move to a description of ‘AA men and women’, which is the language our customers use to describe our mobile mechanics.
“We are now taking our second step, which is to move to a new descriptor of ‘mobile mechanics’.
“As you can imagine, we have an array of communication to change, so this process takes a little time, but should be fully changed over within the next six months or so.”

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