Road to Power: How GM's Mary Barra Shattered the Glass Ceiling (Bloomberg)
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Follow a pioneer's journey from factory floor to CEO
Road to Power is the story of how Mary Barra drove herself to the pinnacle of a company that steers the nation's wealth. Beginning as a rare female electrical engineer and daughter of a General Motors die maker, Barra spent more than thirty years building her career before becoming the first woman to ever lead a global automaker. With $155 billion in sales and 200,000 employees, GM is widely considered to be a proxy for the U.S. economy, making Barra's position arguably the most important corporate role a woman has ever held. This book describes the personal character, choices, and leadership style that enabled her to break through the glass ceiling.
When 52-year-old Mary Barra was named CEO of General Motors in 2013, only people outside of the company were surprised. She had done everything from working on the factory floor to overseeing manufacturing, from improving union relations to paring down bureaucracy, and from running human resources to helping drag the company back from its 2009 bankruptcy. This book details each step of her career, and the lessons she learned along the way.
- Learn how Mary Barra's willingness to take on diverse assignments helped steer her career trajectory
- Examine the fine details of Barra's management style and her ability to relate to colleagues
- Discover the qualities and experiences Barra had that drove her to lead this male-dominated profession
- Study the valuable lessons Barra learned at each stage in her professional life, and why they stuck with her throughout her journey to the top
Barra is most certainly a pioneer for women in business, but she's also a living lesson as to how far the right outlook, skills, and drive can take you in your career. Road to Power explores the talent and the mindset that got her all the way to the top.
more than half the 29 industrial administration students were female. In electrical engineering, her chosen major, there were only 17 women out of 64 students. The faculty was still overwhelmingly male, with fewer than 10 women out of 135 in total. Kettering Graduates Several of GM's highest-ranking women attended the former General Motors Institute, now known as Kettering University. Mary Barra, BS, electrical engineering, 1985, Chief Executive Officer Grace Lieblein, BS, industrial
her management style in the future. It would also put her on the fast track to move up the executive ranks when she got back to GM. Notes 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scd9JhaW5uY. 2. www.nytimes.com/1990/01/24/us/gm-plans-recall-of-244000-fieros-citing-f ire-hazard.html. 3. Paul Ingrassia and Joseph B. White, Comeback: The Fall and Rise of the American Automobile Industry (New York: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 1995), 99. 4. John Lippert, “GM to Idle Fiero Plant, Kill Model,”
2009 bankruptcy. Barra got firsthand exposure to what a board of directors wants in a company's management, to corporate governance guidelines, and to how big corporate decisions are made. And, since she was able to interact on a daily basis with the highest-ranking executives in the company, not just Pearce and Smith, she became known as an up-and-comer to all of GM's senior management. Barra embraced the opportunity to broaden her experience. “She didn't have the characteristic automotive
where things would go wrong and the teams would have to figure out the cause and fix it. Despite the fun nature of the exercise, which went on for several days, there were winners and losers, based on the profit and loss statement each team produced. “Everyone in that room was so damn competitive,” Cervone says. Another of the sessions involved travel to one of GM's overseas locations, in either Europe, South America, or Asia. Barra's group traveled together to Japan, where they were able to see
women's rights roles in history of cars and automakers scholarships for minority groups and women Senate subcommittee and Barra's testimony sexual harassment by autoworkers in Silicon Valley and smashing glass ceiling and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) stereotype of liberated woman Title IX of Education Amendments of 1972 women's support system at GM, creating World War II and effect on hiring “World's Most Powerful Women” (Fortune) WOW! (Women on Wheels)