Advancing Women In Skilled Trades
Wonder Girls Comic Artwork

Workshop 5 : Careers in Motive Power

Women Girls Workshop Overview


To introduce students to the various careers they can pursue within the Motive Power Sector with a special focus on a career as an Automative Painter.

Part A: Introduction to Careers in Construction

The introduction portion of this workshop consists of a PowerPoint presentation which will introduce students to the

The introduction portion of this workshop consists of a PowerPoint presentation which will introduce students to the motive power sector of the skilled trades. Various careers that fall under this sector will then be examined briefly (for example – auto body and collision damage repairer, automotive glass technician, alignment and brakes technician, automotive painter, etc.). The under-representation of women in this sector will be examined, as well as the myths and stereotypes surrounding women in the trades. The pathway necessary to pursue a successful career in the motive power sector will be explored. Finally, special focus will be on the duties of an automotive painter, with a video clip of a woman pursuing this career.

PowerPoint Presentation: 24 slides

Part B: Mentor/ Role Model Component

Research indicates that one of the most important factors to the success of young women in technical fields and skilled trades is providing mentors and role models. Young women need to see examples of other women successfully following non-traditional career paths. For this portion of the workshop, choose from the following options:

1. Mentor Presentation

A contact list of local women in the skilled trades and technical fields has been provided in this toolkit, along with their contact information. They may be contacted to make presentations to students regarding the challenges and benefits of pursuing a career in the skilled trades and technical fields.

Mentor Contact List
2. Mentor Brochures

Brochures of local mentors have also been provided in this toolkit which can be used as case studies
of successful women pursuing a skilled trade or technology. They include information such as education, salary, employer, skills, challenges, and benefits of various careers in the skilled trades and technical fields. These brochures can be used as supplementary materials in addition to a mentor presentation, or alone if mentors are unavailable.

Mentor Brochures
3. Video Clips

There are several video clips located on the accompanying USB drive of women working in the skilled trades and technology that can be shown in addition to the ones already embedded within the PowerPoint presentations. These can be used as supplementary materials, or as the primary method of exposing young women to mentors in the skilled trades and technical fields.

Part C: Experimental Learning Exercise

Automotive Painting Activity

Demonstrate the day-to-day duties of an automotive painter by allowing students to experiment with painting model cars.

Step 1:

Sand the car with a fine grit sandpaper to smooth out the car’s surface.

Step 2:

Clean the model car to remove dirt and particles using dish soap and water.

Step 3:

Apply a grey or off-white primer to the car and allow it to fully dry.

Step 4:

Add paint thinner to paint and stir. If you can’t find paint thinner or want to create your own, combine 50% distilled water with 50% of propyl alcohol and your paint in a 1:1 ratio. Thinning out the paint lightens the consistency will enable student to make more consistent coats.

Step 5:

Paint car using 2 coats and allow time for paint to dry. Use a variety of different sized brushed to paint each part of the car accurately.

Material required:


Upon completion of this workshop, students will: