The car world has long been known as a “man’s domain” (and unjustly so), but it’s time to move into the 21st century: General Motors announced Dhivya Suryadevara as its new Chief Financial Officer (CFO), a first in the company’s history!
Suryadevara’s promotion is big news in and of itself – women rising to power in any male-dominated industry is newsworthy – but to add to the hype, she will report to Mary Barra, who was not only GM’s first female CEO but the first female CEO of any major automaker. If that’s not badass, we don’t know what is.
The new CFO is also a woman of color (Suryadevara is of Indian heritage), proving that you don’t have to be a white woman to be successful. Regardless of race, you just have to know what serious hustle is!
Suryadevara’s incredible achievement was bolstered by her proven leadership skills: she was a huge part in GM’s involvement in a self-driving vehicle startup called Cruise Automation, as well as GM’s financial attention toward Lyft, the popular ride-hailing app.
We all get our drive for success and innovation from somewhere – likely from someone close to us who we’ve seen push against obstacles that tried to keep them down. For Suryadevara, this influential person was her mother, who raised three children single-handedly in India, making sure that all three had the best opportunities available to them while she was struggling herself.
It’s the hard work that her mother put in that allowed Suryadevara to develop a mindset of pure motivation and aspiration. She wasn’t limited to only dreaming of an incredible future – thanks to her mother, she had the support and the resources to work toward making it a reality.
Having strong women in a young girl’s life is essential to teach her that she’s capable of achieving anything she sets her mind to, not just what society tells her she can do because of her gender. It’s wonderful to see two motivated women leaders in high positions at General Motors.
Hopefully, those who are close-minded about women in leadership positions will come to see the positive growth Suryadevara will bring as she shifts into her new, greatly deserved role. And remember: there are many badass women who know a lot more about cars than the average man!
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