Women in the Refinish Industry

PPG’s 2018 Sustainability Report states: “One of PPG’s greatest strengths is the diversity of our people, who represent wide-ranging nationalities, cultures, languages, religions, ethnicities, lifestyles and professional and educational backgrounds.  Their unique perspectives enable us to meet challenges quickly, creatively and effectively, providing a significant competitive advantage in today’s global economy.”

One way in which PPG inspires diversity is through the support of women in Refinish, a typically male-dominated field.  Today, women make up half of the industry workforce.   Gipe Auto Color aligns with PPG in support of women in the industry through training and special events.  Please save the date on your calendar for Women’s Industry Night on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at Gipe Auto Color. For more information, please contact Michelle Gipe Bourke at  [email protected] for more details.

Keep reading for a spotlight on women making a difference at PPG Refinish.


Erin Detchon

PPG Refinish has shown the power of diversity in the workplace, with women making up half of its workforce in what is traditionally a man’s industry. Just a couple years ago, Technical Sales Trainee Erin Detchon (pictured above) recalls in a PPG video, she had considered two options at her high school’s vocational-technical school: teaching school, or working the collision repair industry. Some people had questioned whether that was really the career path she wanted to take, but by her senior year, she says, she was determined to make this the industry in which she was ready to work.


“Working for PPG is such a great feeling, being young and a woman-working for a company that will support you, no matter what,” she says. “They make sure to give you whatever you need to be successful.”


Shop owners might want to take a look at prospective employees they may not have considered hiring previously. According to the Collision Repair Education Foundation, each year, more than 21,500 collision repair technicians leave the industry, leaving unfilled vacancies. In addition to having the fortune in finding someone with Detchon’s passion, also consider that as a whole, women tend to have a better eye for color-matching as painters. Shop owners and managers can even further efforts to include recruiting young women as part of a career fair, as the St. Louis-based Women in Automotive & Collision organization has done.


 “The best advice I could give anybody is to make sure you’re driven and have the passion for whatever you’re doing,” Detchon says. “Especially to be a woman in a man’s industry, you have to be determined and know what you want. You have to stay strong and passionate.”


About Gipe Auto Color

With over 50 team members and 9 locations serving Kentucky, Southern Indiana, Southeast Illinois, and Northwest Tennessee, Gipe Auto Color is one of the largest PPG™ Platinum Distributors in the region.  We have seven dedicated tech reps certified in all PPG™ automotive refinish product lines.  Their primary duty is to help customers apply PPG™ coatings using techniques that ensure maximum performance day in and day out.

Our service does not stop in the paint shop. We offer assistance in process evaluation, development of standard operating procedures, inventory management, performance data analysis, and targeted improvement strategies with an emphasis on customer profitability.

For expert assistance and more information, call 502.966.2384, Monday through Friday between 8am and 5pm.