By George Ramos
In its earliest days, the automotive specialty-equipment industry was dominated by men. With a few notable exceptions, women were relegated to the background or given roles as trophy girls, photo models and product presenters. As attitudes changed, however, women gained equal status in virtually every facet of commercial endeavor. From manufacturing to the media, women now play critical roles on the automotive stage, yet outmoded stereotypes and unwarranted conduct linger in some quarters. Even as late as 2007, there were more than 12,500 cases of sexual harassment filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).