General Motors CEO Mary Barra has been a transformative executive at the automaker. Not only has she steered GM following its turbulent times post-bankruptcy, but she handled the infamous ignition switch recall and worked to melt away middle management for a more transparent operation.
She’s also worked to encourage young girls and women to pursue their dreams, even if it doesn’t hold to the norm. In an interview with Quartz published on Tuesday, Barra said women shouldn’t end their careers prematurely.
“I’d urge women not to cut off their career branches too early. Don’t step away from your career based on what ‘might’ happen,” she said.
Barra is a shining example of hard work and dedication. She began her career at GM at the age of 18 and held various engineering and administrative positions. By 2008, she was Vice President of Global Manufacturing Engineering. A year later, she moved to the lead global human resources role. Come 2011, she was global product chief.
It all came to a culmination in 2014, when she was named CEO and became the first woman to lead an automaker.
She credited her parents, who gave her sound advice to always work hard and encouraged her love of math from a young age. Now 56-years-old, Barra has also worked to prop up girls and STEM education. Most recently, GM partnered with Girls Who Code to inspire young girls and develop future female technology leaders.