Grand River Plant Workers Excited to Have Female CEO

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

In an automotive world long ruled by men, General Motors is making history.

As Mary Barra prepares to take the wheel at GM, women who work at the Lansing Grand River Plant are excited.

"It's the first time it's happened, so that's good because it's a predominantly male place," said Whitney Bishop.

Cindy Delau has been at the Grand River Plant for 36 years. She's happy, but not surprised about the choice to promote Barra because, as Delau puts it, there are loads of opportunities for females at GM.

"I work with all kinds of women. Engineers, just like Mary," said Delau. "She started in engineering and moved up the ranks and it just shows what you can do at GM and I'm very proud to work for them."

And as the company prepares to move forward, without the U.S. government, those who represent GM workers are looking at more than gender.

Delau's brother Mike Green, President of UAW Local 652, says it's exciting because of her experience.

"Even the Supervisors on the floor. We think they're best when they're promoted from the floor because they have floor experience," he said. "Same with her. She's worked her way all the way up through."

Still, history is being made and that can't be ignored. Kelly Rossman-McKinney, CEO of Truscott Rossman says the Decision is proof. Gender doesn't matter.

"Her success will be driven, not by her gender, but by her ability to make GM a very successful, profitable company," said Rossman-McKinney. "For a woman to be named CEO of General Motors is just business history. It's wonderful."

Mary Barra will replace Dan Akerson on January 15, 2014.

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