Mary Teresa Barra joined General Motors in 1980 at the age of 18 as a co-operative student to fund her college tuition and she continued her lifelong career with the manufacturing company. A true inspiration for youngsters, her success story gives a clear message of an employees’ loyalty towards a company. When Mary Barra was appointed as the CEO of General Motors in January 2014, she became the first woman ever to be head of an automobile manufacturing company.
Barra was born in Royal Oak, Michigan. Her father was a die maker and she belonged to a middle-class family. She graduated from the General Motors Institute, now known as Kettering University where she studied electrical engineering. Her passion for motors was seen from an early age when she started working as a quality inspector checking fender panels and inspecting hoods as her part-time job in General Motors where she was simultaneously pursuing her degree. She has also done her masters in Business Administration from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Her hard work and perseverance has made her what she is now. She is the first woman to run one of the biggest automakers. She was recently listed as the fifth most powerful woman by Forbes and has been on the list five times. And Barra deserves every bit of that honor.
Barra is an extraordinary example for every woman who aspires to achieve something in life. She never fails to mention in her interviews that a woman should not quit her career goals too early for any wrong reasons. “Don’t step away from your career based on what might happen”, says the 56-year-old business entrepreneur. She believes that women are capable of much more, and the simple art they need to master is the work-life balance. This truly charismatic leader of General Motors is married to Tony Barra and is a proud mother of two children.
Her vision, goal driven attitude, and problem-solving skills make her a dynamic global leader. Those men, who think that women are not good drivers, meet Mary T. Barra, the face of General Motors, who not just drives a car but the whole automobile industry!