Seven years after the biggest economic crash in modern times, the meltdown of 2008 remains a shared battle experience in the minds and careers of the 100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry.
A large number of the female executives single out the 2008 economic crisis and its resulting fallout and reorganization as the greatest personal challenge they have faced in their careers. From auto retailers to manufacturing engineers, the economic crisis stands as a kind of communal milestone for many women in the business, according to interviews with the group.
The memories shared with Automotive News tell a story of women on the front lines of those dire days in 2008 and 2009, when U.S. commerce froze and companies wondered if they would survive.
"That was a very, very dark time for a lot of us that were here," says Kim Brink, COO for Team Detroit/Blue Hive, the Detroit automotive ad agency, recalling her time at General Motors during the bankruptcy. "You had this idea that we're going to come out of bankruptcy, shed our ways and things are going to be great. It really wasn't that way. It took a long time to recover."