GM Diversity:
Supporting the Advancement of Women

Not All Car Guys at GM Are Guys

From the CEO to our assembly workers, there isn’t a role at General Motors a woman can’t tackle. Whether running operations overseas or managing plant operations, women are filling more and more seats at the table.

Check out the video to the right and watch how Melissa Howell, Doneen McDowell, Mary Chan, Evetta Osbourne and Monique Watson are leading the way for women at GM every day.

Grace Lieblein Participates in a Conference to Analyze Women Leadership

On November 29, Grace Lieblein, President, General Motors do Brasil,  took part in the Global Advancement of Women Conference, promoted by Working Mother Media, which united around 240 professionals from all over the globe.

This year’s conference, held for the second time in Brazil, was focused on discussing the current contributions of women in the workforce.  Among the main topics were: work and personal life balance, strategies and leadership development and the growing role of working women in Brazil.

Grace Lieblein was the keynote speaker and talked about “Women in Leadership Positions – A Perspective on how to Reach Success”. She covered topics such as career development, challenges and choices of a woman leader and the importance of networking. She was also interviewed by Working Mother Media President, Carol Evans, who asked questions about her personal experiences. Lieblein encouraged the audience to believe in themselves, embrace challenges and to help one another achieve professional success.

OnStar Partners with GM Women in IT on “Bring Your Child to Work Day”

Work sites at OnStar were buzzing with the sound of young voices, as the annual “Bring Your Child to Work Day” was observed and hundreds of children shadowed their parents during the workday.

OnStar partnered with the GM Women in IT to host a Command Center tour and table talk discussion with approximately 16 teen girls who are a part of the Rhonda Walker Foundation, which works to bring inner city teen girls together for workshops, seminars, retreats, field trips, and camps.

The girls are a part of a 5-year comprehensive Girls Into Women program that helps guide them to become strong, confident, successful and moral future leaders. Many OnStar employees volunteered to serve as mentors, allowing the girls to see and ask questions about a typical work day.

"Put Your Heart Into It" - Tips from Mary Barra

By Employee Journalist Christine Cabrera

On March 14, the GM Renaissance Center hosted a luncheon celebrating the 50th anniversary of Inforum, a professional organization focused on creating strategic connections and accelerating careers for women throughout Michigan.  GM’s own Mary Barra addressed attendees in "A Conversation with Mary Barra: One of the Auto Industry’s Most Influential Women."

Mary's career at GM began as a GMI co-op student at the Pontiac Motor Division, where she worked her way up through multiple executive director positions, recently as Vice President of Global Human Resources, and currently as Senior Vice President of Global Product Development.

While Mary's GM father fostered her love of cars and trucks, it was her strong, supportive mother who inspired Mary to find her passion, telling her that once she did, she should "work hard – put your heart into it."

Mary had her own advice for young professionals, and particularly for young women making their way in the modern automotive industry.  In discussing her career, the future of General Motors – "It’s about products…I’m confident we will deliver" – and her own influences, Mary shared a few words of wisdom: 

  • On Mentorship
    By working hard, you earn mentors. These are people who are interested in working with you and who take the time to invest in you.
  • Overcoming Obstacles/Lack of Experience in a Position
    My confidence comes from knowing that I have a good foundation – my degree in engineering – and that I can bring my training and leadership skills to any position. It’s a great opportunity to learn, so why not? Rely on the strength of your team, and challenge yourself to learn something new.
  • On Creating a Career Path
    Work towards your passions. Everyone has a different path and no one person’s is a straight line. Embrace it. If you find your passion, dedicate yourself to it – love what you do and then work hard for it.  

Alicia Boler-Davis Named Vice President of Global Quality and U.S. Customer Experience

Despite a meteoric rise through the ranks of the automotive industry, Alicia Boler-Davis is not one to rest on her laurels. At 43, she's the highest-ranking African-American executive woman at General Motors and one of the highest in the auto industry. Now she's tackling a dual role as the company's Vice President of Global Quality and U.S. Customer Experience.

According to Boler-Davis, General Motors’ definition of customer experience is expanding to include what happens before, during, and after the sale – instead of just what happens in the dealership. 

Before her recent appointment, Boler-Davis served as plant manager of General Motors' Orion Assembly and Pontiac Stamping plants. When the presidents of the United States and South Korea visited both facilities last fall, Boler-Davis led the tour.

At Orion, Boler-Davis oversaw the development of the Chevrolet Sonic – leading GM’s inaugural effort to marry plant management and vehicle development. This was a key enabler to ensuring an enterprise approach to building Small Cars Competitively in the U.S.

Boler-Davis was also involved in the development of the new Buick Verano, built alongside the Sonic at Orion Assembly.

"What I admire about her is her candor with leaders and strength of commitment she engenders among her team," said Mark Reuss, President of GM North America.

Boler-Davis came to GM in 1994, serving in various engineering leadership positions including Manufacturing Engineer, Vehicle Line Director/Vehicle Chief Engineer, Small Car; Plant Manager for Lansing Consolidated Operations and Arlington Assembly, where she was the first African-American woman ever appointed to plant manager at any GM Assembly facility.

She earned a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in Engineering Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.