Transit Career Stories

Gwendolen Gibson – A Rail Mechanic Leading the Way

Gwendolen Gibson on site at her SEPTA facility

The first in a series of Transit Career Stories videos produced by TWC featuring frontline transit workers, this video provides a glimpse into the career of Gwendolen Gibson, a First-Class Rail Equipment Mechanic with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and a member of Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 234.

Gwen started in a rail vehicle maintenance apprenticeship, focusing on electronic and electrical work, in 2009. After the two-year program, she worked as an electrician for a year. She then decided to pivot and became a rail equipment mechanic with an emphasis on overhauling brakes, then rail trucks, and most recently, air valves. Gwen’s career path with SEPTA has provided flexibility that she has appreciated.

Gwen is also giving back, not just through her work, but also through her involvement with various organizations like Women in Nontraditional Careers (WINC), where she is a member of its stakeholder and steering committees, and the Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health (PhilaPOSH), where she’s a board member and treasurer. In addition, Gwen is on her facility’s Location Safety Committee, a union-appointed position in which she helps to address safety issues on site. Gwen has also been actively involved in her union over the years.

Watch the video to see Gwen on site and to hear her thoughts about her work and career trajectory.