Why did you want to work in the auto industry? I grew up in Detroit, and my father was involved in the auto industry. It's a complex industry. There's never a dull moment.

First automotive job: Worked as an intern in 1978 at a General Motors bumper plant.

Proudest professional achievement: Helping Lear navigate through a brisk capital reorganization [pre-packaged bankruptcy] in four months.

Current challenge at work: To assist the company with its global growth and expansion into emerging markets.

Why does the auto industry seem like a difficult environment for female executives? Traditionally, the industry has been seen as very structured, and women have looked to other industries where there was more workplace flexibility.

What you do to relax: Spend time with family, golfing and friends.

— David Barkholz