LEAD THE WAY

Women are proving their worth

Female executives take the lead
Women are proving their worth

General Motors' appointment of Mary Barra as the first female CEO of a global automotive company instantly ignited discussion about the role of women in the male-dominated boardrooms of the automotive industry. 
While high-level female automotive executives have been a rare breed, Barra's rise through GM from a summer internship to the top of the C-suite has inspired female fleet executives, who say she's earned her seat at the table.


Women are earning their place and businesses are finally realizing women have much to offer. If they are dedicated and excel within the company, there's no reason a woman shouldn't be given the same opportunities as men for advancement.


Mary Barra's appointment to CEO is "a huge milestone," said Helene Kamon, a former AmeriFleet vice president, member of the AF Fleet Hall of Fame, and a trailblazer herself as the first female president of the Automotive Fleet & Leasing Association (AFLA).


Kamon first worked in the automotive business in 1970 at a time when it was "an old boys club." In 1980, she was named fleet director for Wendy's International. "I am very happy I lived to see this. I'm just delighted. It opens a lot of possibilities," she said.


Female CEOs remain a rarity among Fortune 500 companies. Only 23 (4.6 percent) are now led by a female. For this reason, Barra's appointment is a huge step in women breaking through the glass ceiling.

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