Empowerment Steering: GCC Auto Workshop To Help Women Get Under the Hood

Monday, February 26, 2018

Gateway Community College’s Automotive Technology Department will host its first-ever Women Drive event, a fun and informative session geared toward demystifying basic automobile care and maintenance for females.

The session will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. March 22 at GCC’s North Haven campus, 88 Bassett Road. Led by women instructors and facilitators, the workshop is free, but advance registration is a must as space is limited.


Women Drive will focus on the basics of automobile care and maintenance for female participants who may be unaccustomed to exploring under the hood. These include simple but essential functions such as checking oil and fluids, measuring tire pressure and even demystifying the automobile owner’s manual. Attendees will also learn more about educational and employment opportunities available through GCC’s Automotive Technology Department.

“One highlight of running a short workshop for women is empowerment," explains Celia Carvalho-Rubino, coordinator of Gateway’s College Now program, which provides college coursework to high-school juniors and seniors in early childhood, culinary, and allied-health nursing careers in addition to automotive. Successful participants earn certificates and college credits in the curriculum of their choosing.

Carvalho-Rubino acknowledges that gender stereotypes have been and remain a barrier to females who wish to learn more about operating and maintaining their own vehicles. These obstacles can impede communication and negotiation with male counterparts in auto-repair or sales scenarios.

“Females from different backgrounds will have an opportunity to learn the basics and feel more confident when talking to their mechanic or dealer,” she explains. The March 22 session will be led by Roxanne Amiot, an adjunct instructor in Gateway’s Automotive Technology Department.

In addition, Carvalho-Rubino hopes the session may also open new career horizons for females in the wider automobile industry. “There are so many career opportunities in the automotive industry,” she explains, “from customer service to writing manuals to technical support to sales.”

And the jobs are there — especially for candidates with a grounding in automotive fundamentals. Currently Gateway’s Automotive Technology program “has a waitlist of employers asking for graduates,” Carvalho-Rubino notes.

Refreshments and door prizes will be on hand. To learn more and to register for the March 22 Women Drive workshop, contact ccarvalho-rubino@gatewayct.edu or phone 203-285-2358. Registration is free, but restricted to females. The deadline for registration is March 2.