It's a simple social-media hashtag that started as a company disclosure policy and has transformed into a statement of passion and pride for those employed by Detroit's largest automaker: #IWorkForGM.
Posts on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag go back years and appear in multiple languages — from employees sharing articles about the company to internal events and sponsorships of student programs to support science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.
Although not started by GM CEO Mary Barra, the hashtag and how it's now being used are testaments to the cultural change that she has led within the organization since being appointed to the top job nearly five years ago.
Barra has routinely kept employees in the loop about the company and on track through an ignition-switch recall crisis, Wall Street doubt and an evolving automotive industry.
This past year, amid a continued restructuring of its international operations, GM announced several high-profile deals and partnerships around electrification and mobility that feed into the automaker's "triple-zero" vision of no crashes, congestion or emissions through all-electric and autonomous vehicles.
Deals included $2.25 billion invested by the SoftBank Vision Fund and $2.75 billion by Honda in Cruise, GM's autonomous-vehicle operation. GM also announced plans to deploy a driverless car fleet without manual controls beginning next year.
Barra and the company also were deeply involved in the government's discussions about rolling back federal fuel economy standards and renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. She's also calling for federal legislation around self-driving technology that would provide "a path for manufacturers to put self-driving vehicles on the roads safely, while allowing continued innovation."
This is the fourth consecutive year that Barra, 56, has been an Automotive News All-Star and her second time being honored as Industry Leader of the Year.