Joanne Cole, 51
Director of Engineering, Soft Trim Systems Comfort and Advanced Development, Johnson Controls
Education: B.S., mechanical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; M.S., mechanical engineering, University of Michigan
First automotive job: Engineer, Heavy Truck Operations, Ford Motor Co., 1976
Proudest achievement: "Being a role model for other professional women."
On being successful: "Work is about having fun and making money. I don't have to have the best job title or the biggest paycheck. I just want to enjoy myself and be respected for the contributions I make to an organization. Making more money is always nice, however."
On being a woman in the industry: "It is very difficult being in the automotive industry because a small and exclusive clique provides leadership. Women have difficulty breaking into that clique for a variety of reasons. To enter the clique, you have to give more of yourself to your career than many women are prepared to give - many of us are more concerned with balancing many facets of life than with maximizing how far upward in the corporation we can move."
Other positions at Johnson Controls include:
- 1993-97 Director of Engineering, Chrysler Business Unit
- 1990-93 Chief Engineer, Research and Engineering Staff
- 1988-90 Product Development Manager, Body Systems Division
- 1983-85 Chief Product Planner, Body Systems, Heavy Truck Operations, Ford Motor Co.