Women Techs Rock: EV tech Allison Donohoo works on the cutting edge of transportation
This technician spotlight is published as part of TechForce Foundation’s diversity initiatives. Help us find other women technicians to highlight in Women Techs Rock. Get started at TechForce.org/WomenTechStories
Women Techs Rock Highlight
Name: Allison Donohoo
Employer: Crest Volvo
Location: Frisco, Texas
School: Universal Technical Institute
Who is Allison Donohoo?
Like a lot of techs, Allison Donohoo’s interest in the automotive field started with her family. It was a shared love of NASCAR – the speed, the sounds, the smells of the races – that first sparked what would become a lifelong fascination with all thing technical – especially engines.
While she didn’t grow up around people who worked on cars, when high school came around and she needed to keep her car running, she took to tinkering. Self-motivated and undaunted by the challenge of learning something new, Allison largely taught herself the way around a garage. Combining that experience with a love of electronics and robotics, she naturally gravitated toward becoming a tech, studying both automotive and diesel at UTI (Universal Technical Institute).
Eventually dropping the diesel portion of her education, she graduated and quickly found herself as the first woman service technician – EV/Hybrid certified – at the family-owned Crest Volvo in Frisco, Texas. And while she experienced the same kind of difficulties many women find in male-dominated professions, she found that once she had the opportunity to prove herself to her co-working techs, she was welcomed as an equal part of an outstanding team.
Now, she’s writing a new chapter to her story, taking on the role of Volvo Technical Training Instructor for the Volvo SAFE Program with Calibre in South Carolina. From a self-taught tinkerer to a full-fledged teacher, we can’t wait to see who she inspires to follow in her footsteps.
Q & A:
What’s the hardest part of being a woman tech?
“You have to work harder to gain trust and you have to work smarter. It isn’t about the hours put in; it’s about the outcomes and the customer.”
Tell us about a memorable moment when you were treated differently as a women tech.
“At UTI, an instructor gave me a hard time throughout the class, but apologized when I got a perfect score. I also had a student asked me if I was there looking for a husband. ‘Nope,’ I said. ‘I’m looking for a career!’”
What do you tell yourself when something gets tough?
“You can be scared to do anything, but so what? If you’re scared, do it anyway!”
What do you think it will take to get more women into the tech profession?
“You have to really want it. You should have passion and you don’t need to think about yourself any differently because you’re a woman.”