When you talk about the auto industry, what comes to mind are a bunch of tech savvy old men discussing work over drinks. This image, however, will not be an accurate depiction of how the industry looks like today. The auto industry is not an all boys club anymore because women are slowly, but surely are entering the scene and here are some of these powerful women leaders ruling the industry:
The Chief Executive Officer of General Motors, Barra, was appointed to the post last year, making her the first female CEO of a major global automaker. Prior to this, Barra was the Executive Vice President of Global Product Development at the same company. An electrical engineering graduate, she completed her MBA before joining the industry. Following her promotion, Barra was listed as one of the most powerful women by Forbes, for the third time last year.
Having joined the company in 1978 as a Co-op student, Lieblein has since taken on many leadership roles, including the post of the President and the Managing Director of company activities in Brazil and Mexico. In an interview with CNN, she said, “My feeling was always, I’m going to get in and I’m going to do the best job that I can and I will build my credibility from there… With that attitude I was able to win over some skeptics, and for those who maybe didn’t change their mind, I figured that’s their problem. That is not my problem.”
The great-great granddaughter of the company founder, Henry Ford, Elena was appointed the vice-president of the company just two years ago. As the Director of Global marketing for the company, she is the first female Ford family member to hold such an important position in the company. Her responsibilities at the company include marketing, product management and sales support activities for Ford Motor Company around the world.
As the Vice president and chief operating officer, Ford of Europe, Samardzich is one of the most influential women in the auto industry and believes that things are changing for women in this field. In an interview with Telegraph, when asked what she would like to do to encourage more women in the industry, she said: ” I would wave that wand would be in exposure. I don’t think women think about the automotive industry as a career because they don’t have exposure to how exciting it could be.”
[Featured Picture Courtesy: Fast Company.com]
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