Being a Woman Is the Least Interesting Thing About Mary Barra, New CEO of GM

Ideas

Who could have imagined a woman being named CEO of a manufacturing-industry company? Today, for the first time in its 100-plus-year history, GM announced that Mary Barra would be the new CEO. Almost every headline you’ll see on the news will use the descriptor woman even though that refers to 51% of the population. And in truth, being a woman is the least interesting thing about her. Her most recent role was to run the $15 billion product-development division. After her 30-year career within the company, you could dub her the chief product officer. Her pedigree is flawless with a B.S. in electrical engineering and an M.B.A. from Stanford. She represents a very different type of leader, not just because she’s a woman, but because she wants to reinvent the firm. GM used to have a 10-page dress code. Who abolished it? Mary Barra. At the time, Barra said that “the…

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