Driving change

Women are increasingly changing the perception of the aftermarket industry as a male-dominated sector. We share stories of two inspiring women in the Atlantic region who are defying convention.

For some time now, the conventional image of the automotive aftermarket industry has always been that of a men-only club. Not anymore, as an increasing number of women are leading, influencing, and thriving in this niche industry – working in important functions from the executive level to the counter pro to the shop owner.

Fix Network, a leading international provider of aftermarket services, has been putting the spotlight on two female achievers in its global network for some time now, as part of its “Women at Fix Network” series. Two women from the Atlantic region were also profiled – Andrea Ghaney from Fix Auto St. John’s Avalon (Newfoundland) and Katherine Gordillo of Fix Auto Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island).

Andrea Ghaney has been a familiar face in Newfoundland’s thriving aftermarket industry for the past 25 years, inspiring many women keen to pursue a career in the collision repair business. At the wheel of Fix Auto St. John’s Avalon as its Collision Centre Manager, she interacts daily with the shop’s large customer base, while ensuring that her team of technicians and office staff are at the top of their game through regular training and certifications.

Andrea is known to be a trailblazer, shattering perceptions about women in what historically has been a male-dominated field. “I believe the perception about women in the industry is changing and that there is a large number of women across the globe who actually do work on vehicles every day and enjoy it,” says Andrea. “Women are continuously making a difference at all levels of the business – whether in the workshop or adjusting claims or excelling in customer service.”

Another achiever, Katherine Gordillo of Fix Auto Charlottetown, wears many hats – she lives and breathes collision repair, and when time permits, teaches Latin American dance styles to different generations of people. Born in Ecuador, she has been in the automotive aftermarket industry for a little over two years but is already making a tremendous impact.

As Employee Processes Analyst at Fix Auto Charlottetown, Katherine looks at enhancing the customer experience, creating high standards in customer service, and differentiating her shop from the competition. An important element of her daily routine is to develop strategies that maximise efficiencies of all departments and improve workflow at the shop.

“My first impression of the automotive aftermarket business was that it would be a boy’s club,” laughs Katherine. “However, during my short journey here, I have met so many incredible women who are continuously setting the standards in the industry every day. Their diversity and their different perspectives changed my perception and inspired me to learn every aspect of the business as possible.”

Katherine believes one can achieve so much more if they can challenge themselves. “Each day, I ask myself – what can I do better today than I did yesterday – and then go about achieving that,” she says.

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