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Dorothee Pullinger - Automotive Women

By Bill DeBoer on Mar 15, 2022 11:40:16 AM

automotive factory

Women like Dorothee Pullinger had to pave a way for themselves and other women aspiring to be in the automotive industry. In a male-dominated industry in a time when women couldn't vote in most major countries, Pullinger made a name for herself. Pullinger, born in France, moved to England at eight years old with her eleven younger siblings. Pullinger being the daughter of engineer Thomas Charles Pullinger wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps. After an unenthusiastic year at secretarial college, Pullinger was able to secure a position as a Draftsperson with Arrol-Johnston. 


At the beginning of world war, I Arrol-Johnson shifted manufacturing to airplanes. This gave Pullinger the opportunity to help build the design of aerospace engineering at Arrol-Johnson. During world war I Pullinger became the female supervisor of the large munitions facility by Vickers after Arrol-Johnson shifted manufacturing to airplanes.  Pullingers fluency in both French and English gave her the ability to manage a large and diverse European workforce. While Pullinger made her strides as a female supervisor her father was also opening doors for women like his daughter. In 1916, Thomas Charles Pullinger created an engineering college and apprenticeship program for women at his new munitions facility. 

Dorothee Pullinger galloways car

During world war II Pullinger found herself serving her country in a different way by becoming a part of the Industrial panel. This panel was created to address post-war industry problems. Pullinger became the first and only woman to be appointed to The Industrial Panel of the Ministry of Production. 

After the war, Pullinger returned to Arrol-Johnson where she convinced her father to convert the airplane factory into Galloway Motors. Pullinger became the manager and director of the new subsidiary and created a space for women in the automotive industry. Galloway Motors had two tennis courts and hosted an engineering college as well as an apprenticeship program. Most famously Galloway Motors adopted the colors of the suffragettes in solidarity with women's rights. 

Galloway Motors became a car manufacturer by women for women. Pullinger manufactured the first car with women in mind in the early 20s: The Galloway. This vehicle saw the introduction of more dependable engines and the rearview mirror. These advancements along with a raised seat and smaller and lighter cars made the Galloway Car a hit. 

Dorothee Pullinger is a pioneer in both engineering and women's rights. Companies like Galloway Motors gave fuel to the suffrage movement and solidified the rights women have today. Creating a space for women in engineering and facilitating the education said women was nearly unheard of. At Deboer's Auto, we give thanks and recognition to Mrs. Pullinger who paved the way for women in the automotive industry.


Bill DeBoer

Written by Bill DeBoer

William J. DeBoer (Bill Jr.) is Co-owner and Vice President at DeBoer’s Auto. As the company’s General Manager, Bill has been responsible for bringing innovations in daily operations to the full-service, high-tech auto repair facility for 20+ years. Passionate about computers from an early age, Bill’s interest in technology gravitated to cars while he was in college. By obtaining a Certificate in Automotive Technology followed by a B.S. in Business Management from Penn State, Bill was able to fuse his interests into a car technology specialization and join the family business shortly thereafter.