General Motors recently named Dhivya Suryadevara and Kimberly Brycz to its executive level as chief financial officer and head of global human resources respectively. These new promotions along with CEO Mary Barra and global manufacturing lead Alicia Boler-Davis means that the company now has 4 of its top 17 executive positions headed by women.
In addition, “GM also bumped its board of directors to gender parity this month with the addition of a sixth woman, Jami Miscik, a former deputy director of intelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency. The board now has six men and six women, the third time since April 2016 there’s been an even gender split.”
The push to become more gender balances came after the 2009 bankruptcy when the company felt it needed a change in leadership structure. The bad news become an opportunity for women and one that has seen a big increase in female promotion opportunities.
“GM “is currently the only company in the largest 20 in the United States” to have a female CEO and an equal number of women and men on its board of directors, according to the Equileap, a non-profit based in London and Amsterdam. Its recent Global Report on Gender Equality, which evaluated more than 3,000 companies worldwide for criteria including leadership, equal pay and work flexibility, ranked GM as the world’s top company for gender equality. L’Oreal, which took the top spot last year, fell to second place.”
Moving forward, in an effort to improve its gender parity further, the company will look to integrate women in more operational roles. According to Tom Kolditz, a leadership professor at Rice University, “Chief operating officers and other operations roles continue to be male dominated, and this is important because chief financial officers, chief human resources officers and chief diversity officers do not contribute directly to the bottom line.”