Hey automakers, how about a woman at the helm?

I'm not taking anything away from GM CEO Ed Whitacre's success. And his replacement, Daniel Akerson, certainly has CEO bona fides.

But I have to wonder: When is an automaker - any automaker -- finally going to put a woman at the helm?

Surely, there are highly-qualified female corporate leaders who could run a global auto company. Why shouldn't these companies opt for these women over equally qualified men?

Now, I don't believe anyone should get special treatment for gender or ethnicity. But I do believe diversity adds value to many businesses.

The fact is the majority of the consumers automakers build vehicles for are women. And research shows that at least 80 percent of all vehicle purchases are influenced by women.

Shouldn't leadership be as diverse and representative as the main group of people for which the companies are building their products?