December 11th, 2012
11:49 AM ET

Can women drive the future of the car industry?

By Felicia Taylor and Catriona Davies, CNN

(CNN) - When Grace Lieblein started her career in a car assembly plant at the age of 18, she was a rare woman in a man's world.

Today, 34 years on, she is president and managing director of General Motors, Brazil, and trying to persuade more young women to reach the top in the car industry.

Lieblein says she has "gas in my veins." She studied engineering at what was then General Motors Institute, now Kettering University, in Flint, Michigan, and has worked for the company ever since.

Before moving to Brazil, she was chief engineer for vehicles such as the Buick Enclave and Chevy Traverse, and then president and managing director of General Motors in Mexico.

"My feeling was always, I'm going to get in and I'm going to do the best job that I can and I will build my credibility from there," she said.

"With that attitude I was able to win over some skeptics, and for those who maybe didn't change their mind, I figured that's their problem. That is not my problem."

Despite the progress, Lieblein is still working in a male-dominated environment.

Women made up just under 21% of employees in car manufacturing in the United States, and 16% of executives and senior management, according to a 2010 Equal Opportunity Employment Commission report.


Filed under: Who we are • Women
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Jorge

    What a lame article, that's like saying that if you pull the appendages off a flea, yell "fleafly" and it doesn't move, it's because fleas have their ears on their legs. The point really is that the subject in the article is from BRAZIL, one of the fastest growing economies in the New World (faster than the U.S.).

    December 12, 2012 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
  2. Denver_mike

    Most women can't even drive,lol.

    December 11, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |