On International Women’s Day, CARSTAR is celebrating the women that deliver collision repairs and customer service.
Working as technicians, painters, detailers, estimators, customer service representatives and store managers, they are on the front lines every day helping customers manage their collision repair experience.
The women mentioned here are all from Canada with the exception of two who are in the U.S.
Laura Trousdale, CARSTAR Arnprior (Arnprior, ON)
“My dad is a licensed body man and a manager for 30 years,” Trousdale said. “His dad had a body shop for decades. I love this business! It feels like being part of an ‘all-boys’ club but somehow, I got in. I think having more women in the industry brings more attention to detail and improved customer service.”
Danielle Lefebvre, CARSTAR Myers Ottawa South Centre (Ottawa, ON)
“I have always been around the automotive industry,”
“My mother was a painter for many years, and my father works in the automotive recycling industry. I started in a body shop when I was still in high school as part of a co-op program. Now, I enjoy completing a challenging paint job and looking back to say ‘I did that’. I like being confident in the finished product. I’ve been very lucky in having a few female apprentices over the years and that’s been a favourite experience.”
Natasha Mills, CARSTAR Kanata (Ottawa, ON)
Natasha Mills started in a collision repair facility at 19, and nearly a decade later is the assistant manager for CARSTAR Kanata in Ottawa, ON.
“My father has been in the collision repair industry for more than 40 years and I’ve grown up around cars and motorcycles my whole life. On the weekends and evenings, I would spend my time helping him in the shop,” said Mills. “I’m thankful that I get to work alongside my father and help him run the business. And, I met my husband while working here, too.”
CARSTAR Brantford (Brantford, ON)
- Laura Torres
“My family has been in the industry for many years and I decided it was time to join them and grow the business. I enjoy helping others during a difficult time and turning a negative experience into a positive one. And there are funny moments – I’ve had an older customer come in and ask where the men are and if they are at home cooking and cleaning.”
- Amanda Fraser
“Having more women in this industry is beneficial to everyone – and me personally. My female co-workers and I empower and encourage each other, and share that with our customers. I’ve been told by our female customers that they feel more comfortable dealing with another woman when it comes to vehicle repairs.”
- Cynthia Vilez
“I have found over the years that we have more and more female customers and they like coming here because of the female perspective. I love helping our customers, it’s very rewarding. This is like my second family to me.”
- Diahann Elliott
“My dad was a mechanic for 35 years, and when I needed a job to get back on my feet four years ago, one of his friends hired me to help him out. I started out cleaning and learning the basics of body work. As I gained more experience, I realized the problem solving and physical aspect of this job really suited me.”
- Lesley Eagleson
“I’ve been a part of CARSTAR for four years, and I think CARSTAR is great with an amazing atmosphere. I have always been in the automotive field so working with CARSTAR is the next step in my automotive career. Yes, sometimes people react with shock that I’m an estimator and a female, but as women, we work hard and tend to be more organized than men.”
Dusty Anglin, CARSTAR Osage Beach (Osage Beach, Missouri)
“I really enjoy interacting with our customers,” said Dusty Anglin, who has worked at CARSTAR Osage Beach for the past eight years. “I had one woman enter the shop and would not even let the men acknowledge her. I could not help but laugh since she only wanted a female to help her. I think that women who enter a repair facility feel more at ease knowing there is another woman present.”
Courtney Lacasse, CARSTAR Myers Barrhaven (Ottawa, ON)
“I think women have a softer approach to certain aspects of the job,” said Courtney Lacasse from CARSTAR Myers Barrhaven. “As an appraiser, I did an estimate for a woman on her vehicle and she seemed so shocked to see me walk up to do her estimate. Then she said, ‘It’s so nice to see a woman like yourself in this industry’. She asked me if the company provided training for me (which they did). I think women in this industry have a lot to offer where the male perspective may not have the same insight.”
Hillary Supping, CARSTAR Calgary Downtown (Calgary, AB)
Hillary Supping from CARSTAR Calgary Downtown in Calgary, AB, has always had a passion for cars, and she turned that into a way to help others during a time of need.
“I always approach the customers with compassion,” she noted. “It helps make the process a little less challenging. I also love seeing the damaged cars coming in and ‘new cars’ leaving.”
Sally Greaves, CARSTAR Mayfield (Edmonton, AB)
“At CARSTAR Mayfield, we are an all-female office staff and everyone gets along well and pretty much has the same approach to things,” said Sally Greaves, a 16-year industry veteran at CARSTAR Mayfield in Edmonton, AB. “I think there are many benefits to having women in the industry. Women are usually loyal, hard-working, reliable and process with empathy and understanding of others’ needs. It probably comes from being mothers and caring for others. I see great strength in my young co-workers and see a strong future for women in the industry.”
Teri Anderson, CARSTAR C&H (Fairborn, Ohio)
Teri Anderson was a temporary employee at CARSTAR C&H in Fairborn, OH, and begged to become a full-time employee.
“I’ve never been happier to find my forever job,” she said. “I love the relief in a customer’s face and a calming sigh when we tell them we will take it from here’. I also love getting the customers excited about their vehicles when the repairs are completed. It’s a celebration for me to complete their repair and I want them to feel that same joy.”
Liliana Camacho, CARSTAR Brantford & Brantford West (Brantford, ON)
“When I was looking for a new, more permanent job, I found CARSTAR, and I’ve found CARSTAR is a company full of growth opportunities,” said Liliana Camacho from CARSTAR Brantford and CARSTAR Brantford West in Brantford, ON. “I find that when dealing with customers, vendors and suppliers, the fact that there are women working here gives them a sense of support and understanding. Sometimes that facilitates the communications and makes them feel more at ease.”
Rebecca Civitarese, CARSTAR Burnsland (Calgary, AB)
“I got into the collision repair field when I was 18,” said Rebecca Civitarese of CARSTAR Burnsland in Calgary, AB. “I was a receptionist at a salon and was approached by someone in the field asking to come to be a CSR at a collision repair shop because they recognized my customer service skills. The benefits of having more women in the collision repair industry are being able to say we are a diverse industry and also being leaders in promoting quality in the workplace. Both men and women get in accidents, I find that women are very comfortable when I am helping them with their claim as they know I have their back and want their car to get fixed safely and back to the way it was before the accident!”
Hannah Tymo, CARSTAR Royal Oak (Calgary, AB)
“My boyfriend is an auto tech, and he got me into the business,” said Hannah Tymo of CARSTAR Royal Oak in Calgary, AB. “It’s great to have more women in the industry and you know they always have your back. It’s like working with your friends only you get things done!”
Joanne Moisan, CARSTAR Calgary Downtown (Calgary, AB)
“I got into this industry by accident—I was a nursing assistant and looking to make a change,” said Joanne Moisan of CARSTAR Calgary Downtown in Calgary, AB. “I really enjoy the different challenges every day. I also think women bring more patience and understanding to the job.”
Debbie Crow, CARSTAR Gateway (Edmonton, AB)
“I was working in the petroleum industry and looking to make a change, but I’ve always been interested in auto parts,” said Debbie Crow, who works at CARSTAR Gateway in Edmonton, AB. “Now, I’ve been here seven years and love working for the (owner) Johnny K Group. It’s great—I get a lot of respect from my male co-workers as we work as a team.”
Jasmine White, CARSTAR Barrhaven (Ottawa, ON)
“Personally, I’m proud to be a part of the magic that happens day in and day out at our collision centres,” said Jasmine White from CARSTAR Barrhaven in Ottawa, ON. “I have a very strong attention to detail. I’ve always been around cars and liked seeing how shiny they can be. I’ve always wanted to be the person who makes them shine! There are lots of opportunities in the industry—it depends where they would want to work—the front office to be a warm and friendly face, the detail department or in the shop as a tech.”
Chelsea Burwash from CARSTAR Ottawa South East (Ottawa, ON)
“I’ve always been interested in vehicle repairs, and I found CARSTAR while looking for a receptionist job,” said Chelsea Burwash from CARSTAR Ottawa South. “I enjoy that I get to learn something new every day. My favourite part is watching the repairs and seeing the finished results. That makes our customers happy!”