Women have finally been able to make a place for themselves in the labor market, not just as employees, but as business owners and high-level managers as well.
However, despite women constituting 48.5% of the global labor force, they constitute only 24% of global senior roles, where in the 2018 Fortune list, only 4.8% (24 women) were CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
And out of the 24% senior roles filled by women, one very prominent name stands out: “Mary Barra” the CEO of General Motors (GM) and the first female CEO of an automaker in the world.
Bara joined GM in 1980, at the age of 18, after which she earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at Kettering University, and an MBA in 1990 at Stanford Graduate School of Business.
With a passion for cars at since the age of 10, Barra was able to easily make a name for herself in one of the most male-dominated fields ever.
Moving from one position to the other within the company, she finally became the CEO of GM in 2014; thus, becoming the first female CEO of an automotive company.
Barra’s success burns down to her vision and leadership skills; hoping to change GM from “just a car company” to a “technology company”, she adopts the strategy of making problems visible and solving them as soon as they arise.
Under Barra’s leadership, GM has shut down operations in Russia, Australia, India, and South Africa that were losing money. In addition to selling GM's unprofitable European operations to Peugeot SA.
Moreover, she took customer loyalty to a whole new level, through a focus on customer data to learn their preferences.
Additionally, believing that the company’s success starts from within and that a company’s employees are one of its greatest assets, Barra pushes to recruit top talent and has actually gone to different universities to personally recruit.
In the end, Mary Barra, and as testified by many, has managed to bring a new GM to light as opposed to the one that operated before she became CEO; a company that is decisive, focused, responsive, and responsible.