As technology gains revolutionize how vehicles look and work, those strides also are poised to expand women's place in the auto industry.
Female leaders will be crucial to the industry's evolution as gas-powered engines make way for electric vehicles and as car buyers increasingly expect vehicles to provide safety, entertainment and connectivity, several of Automotive News' 100 Leading Women contend. This coming shift dovetails with greater awareness on the part of automakers, parts suppliers and other automotive companies of how a more diverse work force — including on leadership teams — can benefit their businesses.
"We're at a true point of renaissance about the possibilities and the transformation that's about to happen," said Deborah Wahl, chief marketing officer for General Motors. "This is probably the most innovative period that I've seen in my whole career. The change in how we do work, how people think about doing work, how we look at transformation to me has been the most compelling."