Over half a century ago, auto industry leaders were almost entirely men. Now, influential businesswomen are transforming these companies. They see the need for change both within the organizations and outside the office, providing female car buyers with better options and personalized service. Here are five ways these women are shaping the auto industry.
1. Open communication
When Mary Barra became the CEO of General Motors in 2013, she shattered the glass ceiling, reports Forbes. Since then, other women have accepted leadership roles in the once exclusively male industry.
Both on social media and with work relationships, Barra utilizes her warm, confident communication style. She focuses on integrity, empathy, and directness to help her create a positive work culture at GM. All of these attributes have helped her gain the trust of employees.
2. Varied experience
Ginger Butz is the directorship of Lifestyle Management at Morey Corporation, an auto supplier based in Woodridge, Illinois. From giving quotes to shipping product, Butz is in charge of the Caterpillar and telematics business segments at Morey, according to Forbes.
With 23 years of experience in the telecommunications business, Butz provides a lot of experience working in a number of departments as well as a varied career trajectory. This has given her a deeper understanding of how the auto industry works.
3. Executive coaching skills
Former actress Carol Lempert serves as an executive coach and public speaker for women seeking to succeed in the auto industry and elsewhere. Based in New Jersey, she’s addressed many obstacles women face at car companies, like expectations that leaders wear traditional clothing, including a suit, hard-hat, or steel-toed boots. As an executive coach, she teaches women how to be perceived as they develop leadership skills.
GM’s Vice President of Global Electric Vehicle Programs, Pamela Fletcher, is responsible for making the electric car available to younger people at a relatively affordable price of $37,500, reports Marie Claire. She did not want electric vehicles to be limited to older generations. Fletcher oversaw the development of the Chevrolet Volt EV, and she plans to launch more than 20 all-electric vehicles by 2023.
5. A gender-blind industry
Before joining California-based Kuka Robotics in 2018, Florence Acuna worked at Tesla for eight years. According to Forbes, she found that workers at both companies were “gender-blind” when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder and that she experienced fair treatment. Her words have encouraged other women to take on leadership roles in the auto industry.