Well it has finally happened. A woman is now the CEO of a major auto manufacturer, but not just any auto maker, General Motors Company. Mary Barra was named the new CEO for General Motors this past week. She is replacing Dan Akerson who retiring early after finding out his wife has late stage cancer. Barra has worked her way from the bottom up. Starting at the factory floor level, she worked her way up to head of global product development and is responsible for the new Corvette, GMC Sierra, and the new Cadillac CTS. She is also the first engineer to hold the title of CEO in almost 20 years.
While Barra was in charge of designing autos like the GMC trucks found in Thunder Bay, she was also designing a new brand of leader for the company. She encourages modernization. Barra said last week, “I truly believe this is the best auto company on the planet — and it’s because of the men and women that work at General Motors across the globe.” She is a people person who encourages her employees that all of them are important to making the company grow.
With Barra at the helm, GM is making a statement that they are ready to head into the future of auto making. After fully emerging out from under the US treasury this past week, the company seems to be back on track. Mary Barra has shown efficiency in reducing the number of lead engineers on projects therefore creating better communication and a better work environment. She is not a fan of bureaucracy.
As a mother of two young daughters, she is an inspiration to girls around the world. Yes you can design trucks, SUVs, and cars. Yes you can be an engineer and design auto parts. Yes you can be the head of one of the Big Three Auto makers in the world.