When my dad, G.D. Crain Jr., died in the early 1970s, it made sense that my mom would become chairman of our company, a role she filled very well for 25 years.
But when Gertrude Crain became chairman, it was rare for a woman to be running a publishing company, although she was not alone.
By the time she retired, it had become far more common to see women assuming high levels of management in our company and many others.
It's about time to recognize the accomplishments of women in the automobile industry.
In the past quarter century, there have been some real improvements in the role of women in this industry. Happily, the biggest problem Automotive News had in selecting 100 leading women was to limit it to 100. Let's hope that the progress speeds up and that this will be the only time when we have to single out women and their accomplishments.
Mom understood that it was important to give women opportunity. She never doubted for a moment that, given the opportunity, they would excel.
Women have long been big buyers of cars and trucks. It's only fitting that women are joining the highest ranks of the automobile companies. It is long overdue.
This week's section presenting 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry is a small tribute to the accomplishments of many. It is certainly only a beginning.
My mom would be very proud.
Publisher and Editorial Director