Julie Jack is a senior director and Ben Grimmig is a project assistant, both based in APCO’s New York office.
General Motors announced last week that Mary Barra would succeed Daniel Akerson as the next chief executive of GM, marking the first time in history that a woman will lead a major auto company. While women comprise just 23 chief executive positions among Fortune 500 companies, Barra is joining the increasing number of women rising to top positions within corporations that are shaking up these statistics. As a female-owned company, APCO understands the importance of having women leaders, both in terms of creating a successful business and promoting a welcoming environment for all employees to thrive.
Barra’s nomination to CEO is made even more significant by the fact that women are largely underrepresented in the auto industry and more broadly in the science, engineering and technology fields. According to the Washington Post, only 14 percent of all engineers in the U.S. are women, and automotive industry surveys show that strategies for the recruitment and retention of women have considerable room for improvement. “If by being a woman I can encourage young women who like math and science to not shy away from it and to pursue technical careers, I love doing that,” Barra stated.
GM’s decision to elect Barra as the next CEO to lead the company signifies an important change atop the nation’s largest automotive company and is part of a growing trend in other major companies around the world. We on APCO’s corporate responsibility and sustainable growth team would like to celebrate and congratulate Mary Barra as she rises to her new role as CEO of GM.