Again, we salute 100 top women
But the reaction to our first effort and the dinner honoring those women was nothing short of astounding.
Now that five years have passed since our first effort, it's time for another look.
In a way, it was much easier this time, since we knew the process. But it was also much tougher. Because there were so many more great candidates, the selection became more challenging.
A great deal of progress has been made by women in the automobile industry. When my mother became chairman of our company in the 1970s, it was, as I noted five years ago, very unusual. In the auto industry, top women executives were a rarity.
Today, female CEOs are all around us, and major automotive companies benefit from many fine female executives. It may be a while before we see a female CEO of an auto company. But it won't be as long as you might have predicted just five years ago. It will happen, and it will happen soon.
I am also pleased to note that the opportunities for women in the auto industry are much more substantial in North America than in Europe or Asia. But throughout the world, companies are becoming aware of the need to use all the talent to stay competitive, not just the male portion. Progress will take longer in Asia.
For us, this publication is a celebration. We congratulate the 100 leading women, even as we recognize that many more female executives are worthy of consideration. We hope you enjoy this effort by our whole editorial staff and some volunteer judges. The effort was led by Mary Beth Vander Schaaf, our assistant managing editor.
We'll celebrate the achievements of the 100 leading women with a special evening on Wednesday, Sept 28. I hope you'll join us in paying tribute.KEITH E. CRAIN
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief