March marks Women’s History Month, a time to pay tribute to the success of female leaders and their contributions to our world. In celebration, General Motors is honoring three women who are making a difference, not only at General Motors but in corporate America. GM is proud to be home to Mary Barra, Alicia Boler-Davis and Grace Lieblein, three executives among our many female employees.
Confidence, boldness, negotiation skills and a strong network are some qualities of successful business women, according to Forbes.1 These women embody these traits and are making strides for females, proving determination pays off.
Mary Barra - Chief Executive Officer of General Motors
Although she’s only been CEO for a few months, Mary Barra is already turning heads. She was named in the top spot in Fortune Magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” list, and in 2013, Forbes magazine named her one of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” Barra is channeling her leadership to drive GM as the global industry leader in automotive design and technology, product quality, customer care and business results.
Barra started her career at GM in the 1980s as a General Motors Institute (Kettering University) co-op student at the Pontiac Motor Division. She has since held numerous positions within the organization, most recently serving as the Executive Vice President of Global Product Development, Purchasing and Supply Chain.
Dedicated to community service, Barra serves on numerous boards of directors, including on the Board for General Dynamics, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and Kettering University Board of Trustees. Leading the way for Stanford University and the University of California-Berkley students, Barra is GM’s Key Executive on these campuses. She has been elected to the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council effective May 2014. Barra continues to exude confidence as a leading woman in the automotive industry, telling Forbes that being a car girl instead of a car guy never stood in her way.2
Alicia Boler-Davis - Senior Vice President, Global Quality & Customer Experience
Alicia Boler-Davis started her career with General Motors in 1994 as a manufacturing engineer at the Midsize/Luxury Car Division. She has held many positions throughout her GM career. Most notably, she was the first female African-American plant manager at a GM vehicle manufacturing plant.
Her current role expands her customer experience responsibility beyond the U.S. to the rest of the world. She has been recognized for her accomplishments and community service, including receiving the 2013 Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) for career achievement at the annual STEM conference. Boler-Davis has also been named by Automotive News as one of the 100 Leading Women in the North American Automotive Industry in 2010, and in 2011 was honored by the Michigan Chronicle as a Woman of Excellence.
Boler-Davis is a Board Trustee of the Care House of Oakland County and a member of Links, Inc. Oakland County Chapter, a volunteer organization for women. Boler-Davis continues to expand her network by speaking and attending events such as the J.D. Power International Automotive Roundtable.
Grace Lieblein - Vice President, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain
Grace Lieblein is responsible for General Motors’ worldwide purchasing activities, supply chain and logistics. Her GM career began in 1978 as a co-op student at General Motors Assembly Division in Los Angeles. She has held numerous positions within General Motors since, serving the company in a variety of countries; most notably, Lieblein was the first female Managing Director in Mexico. While in Mexico, she was appointed to the Board of Directors of the American Chamber Mexico, and later became Vice President of the board.
Lieblein was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for Honeywell International as well as the Advisory Board of Focus: HOPE, an organization focused on overcoming racism, poverty and injustice.
In 2012, she was named by CNN in their “Leading Women” series, Executive of the Year by TopCar TV in Brazil, and later was listed in Hispanic Business Magazine's “2012 Corporate Elite 25.”
In 2011, she was recognized in Fortune magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business – International” as No. 22 overall. In 2010, she was recognized by Financial Times Magazine as one of the top 100 women in world business list of “The Ones to Watch.” She was second on the list of the Most Powerful Women CEOs in Latin America by America Economy Magazine and was recognized as one of the Top 100 Women in the Automotive Industry by Automotive News.
During Women’s History Month, we salute the impact of the women who came before us, honor the women making a difference today, and inspire others to be the leaders of tomorrow. General Motors is committed to supporting the advancement of women, and these three executives are but a few examples of a global network of remarkable female employees.
To learn more about other women who are making their mark at General Motors, click the “Play Video” button below.