In honor of International Women’s Day, AAA Northeast is highlighting the incredible contributions of our female employees.
We caught up with AAA fleet technicians Amelia Desiata and Emmy Marte to talk about working at AAA, their favorite aspect of their job and how they’ve found success in a male-dominated field.
It didn’t take long for Amelia Desiata to discover what sort of company she had joined when she came to work as a flatbed tech for AAA. Within her first year, she was on a roadside assistance call in the middle of a snowstorm when she lost control of her truck and crashed. “A flatbed driver came out to help me and did his best to keep me calm and reassure me that everything was ok,” Amelia recalled. “That was when I learned what kind of guys I work with… I like working for AAA because of the care that the employees have for each other. I feel like I’m part of a big family.”
Over her nearly seven years with AAA Amelia has established herself as an important member of that family. As for being one of the few female members of that family, she sees it as an asset. “I still tell myself, ‘anything these guys can do, I know I can do better’ and ‘it takes a woman to get a job done right sometimes.’ I like to feed my ego, but hey, it works and I’m here still going strong.”
Her advice to other females interested in a career in the field that is to not shy away from the fact that it’s so male-dominated, but be proud of it. “Confidence in what you do and how you present yourself is key to success in this field as a woman. You have to be strong at times and persevere. Let the fact of being a woman in a male-dominated job field bring you great joy.”
Amelia gets just as much joy at home where she cares for her 11-year-old son, mother, and year-old German Shepherd pup. In her free time, she loves to paint and play board games with her family.
Back at work, Amelia, like so many of her colleagues, finds the best part of being a tech to be the opportunity to help. “My favorite part of the job is the joy of being able to help someone out in whatever way needed. It could simply be turning their day around and giving them a good laugh, figuring out how to get their car going again without needing a tow, or simply shocking them with the fact that I’m a woman, which is my favorite!”
While most of us try to avoid crises, AAA technician drive toward them – literally. Their work is to provide assistance to members during emergencies. The thing is, the fleet drivers never know exactly what sort of situation they’re headed toward, and most often, fixing the vehicle is only part of the solution.
Take, for example, the call battery tech Emmy Marte got from a member who had recently lost her husband. The woman was learning to take care of the things her husband usually handled in their daily lives, which included maintaining the car. The entire experience was overwhelming, until Emmy arrived on the scene. “She was able to feel comfortable enough to talk about her feelings and even cried a little. She thanked me and gave the most heart-felt hug because she said she really needed it,” Emmy recalled. “Sometimes we make a bigger difference than we realize just by fixing a car issue and being an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on.”
That “bigger difference” is why Emmy became a technician. She always enjoyed working on cars but was equally intrigued by the opportunity to interact with other people on daily basis and, as she says, “making their days better by resolving issues to the best of my ability.”
What makes Emmy unique is that’s she has been making members’ days better doing a job mostly held by men. This fact hasn’t deterred her at all and she doesn’t want it to stop other women either. “We can do anything we put our minds to,” Emmy says. “Don’t let stigmas of a male dominated field stop you from pursuing your dreams.”
Emmy has worked for AAA for more than five years. She loves being at the company, which she describes as a giant family, because the employees consistently help each other when things get tough. Outside of work, you can find her playing with her two dogs and experimenting with cooking different recipe. Her days off are usually reserved for family time and a little bit of well-deserved self-care.
See what else AAA is doing to help members at AAA in the Community.
To request roadside assistance with your laptop, tablet or smartphone visit AAA.com/GetMoving.