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General Motors Inspires During Women's History Month

gm and women (select to view enlarged photo)

Automaker hosts ‘Women in Electrification’ panel for Detroit students

DETROIT - March 15, 2013: General Motors hosted more than 100 Detroit high school science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, students at an event Wednesday featuring a “Women in Electrification” panel celebrating National Women's History Month.

The panel featured GM women working in areas as diverse as electric motor development and fostering a national charging infrastructure for electric vehicles such as the Chevrolet Volt, Chevrolet Spark EV and Cadillac ELR.

Hosted at the GM World Headquarters by Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley, the panel focused on how a strong background and interest in science, technology, engineering and math positioned these women to help create many of GM’s most design-forward and technologically advanced vehicles.

“We know the next great shortage in the U.S. will be scientists and engineers. Cultivating more STEM graduates is imperative to the success of our country and auto industry,” said Ken Barrett, GM’s chief diversity officer. “A key component of GM's global business strategy is to attract, engage, develop and retain the most talented workforce. A diverse workforce is also critical to our success.

“In fact, GM is one of the largest employers of female engineers in the country. We have more than 2,200 women engineers working for us right now, and we need more. We hope this panel will help encourage young people to pursue education in the areas of STEM, and help develop the next generation of female leaders within GM and in the U.S.”

Panelists included:

Britta Gross, GM director, advanced vehicle commercialization policy Alisyn Malek, GM release engineer, charging components MaryAnn Jeffers, assistant chief engineer, GM electrification Cristi Landy, marketing director, Chevrolet small cars

With roots dating to 1857, Women’s History Month celebrates the accomplishments of the more than 150 million women in the United States and those who lived before them. GM employs about 5,700 women in the United States, and 14.3 percent of its corporate officers are female.

The GM Foundation actively promotes women in STEM fields through the Buick Achievers scholarship program. The program gives $4.2 million per year to 1,100 students; of this, 527 scholarships and $2.27 million in financial assistance has gone to female students interested in pursuing a career in the automotive industry.