Female Leadership in the Automotive Industry

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newsWomen, among the chief beneficiaries of affirmative action, received accolades at Inforum’s annual Auto Show Breakfast, for their work in developing and manufacturing the new Dodge Charger.  Along with recognizing these women’s hard labor, speakers drew the audience’s attention to ways that the automotive industry can improve the everyday realities for women at work in their plants.

“The Dodge Charger team is a diverse and high performance group,”Chris Barman, Vehicle Line Executive of the E Segment Platform, Chrysler Group LLC said. “It is important to recognize this team includes a higher than normal percentage of women in key leadership positions. This diversity is a source of energy, innovation and unconventional perspectives that enable the Dodge Charger to be a very special product.”

Barman makes a key distinction here.  She points out that Chrysler is not merely hiring a large percentage of women, but also a substantial number of women in leadership positions.

As the currently playing movie “Made in Dagenham” demonstrates, it is not enough to feel among one’s peers on the work floor.  Without support from people in leadership positions, workers lack real representation. Corporate leadership often acknowledges the importance of equality, but does not commit to actually placing women and minorities in key executive leadership positions. Recognition and accolades such as these play a small but important role in making a corporate statement of policy.

By Marie Larsen