Birthday: December 24, 1961
Who is Mary Barra?
Mary Barra is GM (General Motors)’s CEO. She is the first woman to ever lead one of the top 3 automakers in the United States.
Facts about Mary Barra
- She invested billions in Maven, a ride-sharing service.
- She graduated in Electrical Engineering in 1985.
- She is married to Anthony Barra.
- She has two children: Rachel and Nicholas Barra.
- She is a top-paid auto CEO in 2016.
- Firebirds and Camaros are her favorite cars.
Famous Quotes from Mary Barra
“My definition of ‘innovative’ is providing value to the customer.”
“I never want to get a job because I’m female. I want to get it because I earned it and I deserve it… Whether my hair is going to be blue or purple, people should be judged on how well they do the job and deliver results and whether they do it the right way. That’s how I like to be judged; most people are like that.”
“If you do every job like you’re going to do it for the rest of your life, that’s when you get noticed.”
Don’t start cutting off branches of your career tree unnecessarily early. Sometimes women say, I know I want to have a family or play in the local symphony, and they start pulling themselves out of their career path. You don’t have to take yourself out of the running before you even start.”
Mary Barra Biography
Mary Barra’s Humble Beginnings
Mary Barra isn’t the first person in her family to work for GM. In fact, her father also worked for Pontiac for almost 40 years. So it would be safe to say that she shared the same passion with her father. She studied electrical engineering and enrolled at Stanford where she acquired her Masters of Business Administration.
She has always loved cars. In fact, she keeps toy cars on her desk at the company. She also had the bobblehead of Albert Einstein. Unlike others, she doesn’t like to be in the limelight a lot. She enjoys living a normal life and doing normal things such as grocery shopping, showing how humble she is despite her success.
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Mary Barra’s Growing Career
She started working at General Motors back in 1980 when she was still a student, attending classes at Kettering University. On January 15, 2014, Marry Barra started leading General Motors as its CEO. This made her the industry’s first female CEO.
Before that, she served as its executive vice president. She was mainly focused on the designing and engineering process of the vehicle launches of the company, ensuring the quality of their products before being introduced to the world.
Barra, like everyone else, also experienced hardships in her career. In fact, there was a time where GM had to recall 30 million cars because of faulty ignitions. Nevertheless, with her outstanding leadership skills, she was able to help the company overcome these challenges.
Now, GM has become one of the largest manufacturers of automobiles not only in the country but also in the world.
Barra also became a member of the board of directors of Walt Disney Company. Due to the accomplishments she has achieved in her career, she was not only included in Time’s 100 Most Influential people list but her photo was only chosen to be the cover of the said magazine. She continuously proved that gender is not a hindrance in achieving great things in life.
When asked when she has plans to become a CEO for 5 or 10 years, she said that she never had thoughts about it. She only wanted to do the best that she can as a CEO. She also always showed her loyalty towards the company where she is working at. In fact, her favorite cars are products of GM.
Mary Barra Shares Tips for Leaders
According to Barra, one way for leaders to attain improvement is through collecting accurate information. It is also important for them to determine which feedback they should take action on. More than anything else, instead of having the limelight for themselves, it would be better for leaders to give credit to the entire team.
She said that leaders shouldn’t be ashamed in case they are lacking knowledge in some things. It is never a shameful thing to ask for help or listen to the people they are leading for being a good listener is one of the traits of a good leader.
Mary Barra’s Legacy
Mary Barra envisions a world without crashes. She also aims for zero emissions so that future generations would be able to enjoy a healthier environment as well as zero congestion so that customers would be able to save their time and get to spend it on more important things instead.
Improving customer satisfaction has always been her top priority. She has also served as an inspiration to women.