Mary Barra – Chief executive of General Motors brought gender equality to the world of automobiles

For many years, industry has been predominantly man’s business. The automakers were no exception. The leading car manufacturers are still mainly men. In the case of General Motors, however, this is not the case. The American group is the first major car company where a woman has ever been put in charge.

Mary Barra has been in charge of the US automotive giant General Motors since 2014. At the time, there was no other woman at the head of the world’s great automobile. The daughter of Finnish-born parents has thus become the first woman in the history to occupy the position of head of one of the leading cars. However, her entry into GM leadership has not only brought women to historic heights. At the same time, it also raised the issue of gender equality which has been taboo in this area for many years.

At General Motors, she has been active since she was a young woman. 

The Executive Director and the Chairperson of the Board of Directors have been active in the company, which she has managed for several years, since she was 18 years old. As a student, she grew up in it in the fender control section. After completion of the study, a number of engineering and administrative positions were replaced in the GM. At the beginning of 2008, she was promoted to Vice-President who she was for six years old. After that, the promotion to the position of head of the entire automobile company followed.

The woman in charge of GM after over 100 years

Once the world’s largest automobile manufacturer, has a history of over 100 years. It was founded back in 1908, when it had a number of names on its board. Mary Barra is the last person to be in charge. The first female name appeared in the leadership of an American automobile company 106 years after its founding. As the world-class car companies had never driven women anywhere in the world before, Mary’s appearance prompted questions. However, the first female GM in top management to criticism, from those who did not like giving a woman the top job, quickly quieted down with above-average work results.

Women in Action join their forces with Female Factor

The emphasis on innovation and the move to a higher level

Mary Barra, after starting leading the office, immediately began to fulfill great visions. Shortly after the takeover, the company announced an emphasis on innovation, which was to bring a new corporate philosophy and redistribute influence among section managers. Innovation has also been given a green light in the development and use of modern technologies and the production of new components. At the same time, the car company announced billions in investment in electromobility. Mary Barra is not hiding the fact that by 2035 she wants to stop the production of cars with internal combustion engines. There are also other ‘ green ’ targets, such as the 100% use of electricity from renewable energy sources in GM plants.

Top pay of car´s CEOs

Mary confirmed the ability of women to run the car business from the start at the head of GM. It wasn’t long before she was declared the most powerful manager on the planet shortly after taking over. In addition, managers such as Ginni Rometty (IBM) and Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo) are also in the ranking. However, it was not only women’s competition that was successful. In 2016, she also became the best paid boss in the car industry. Her annual income, including various compensations, amounted to EUR 22.6 million. This was more than in the case of the head of Ford or the head of the FCA

Mary Barra has also done a great deal of work in the area of promoting gender equality. The very assumption of the job of GM head was an inspiration to many women working in the automotive industry. Mary, however, was not satisfied with her status as an aspiring personality. From the position of leader of the car company, which until recently was exclusively a man’s job, she began to encourage women to be assertive and to try to gain influence in this area as well.

Photo source on

Share This Post
Have your say!