Elizabeth Griffith, 51
Vice President, Program Management and Advanced Engineering, Intier Automotive Interiors Inc.
Education: B.S., mechanical engineering, General Motors Institute
What your college professors didn't teach you: "That there is far more to being an engineer than the technical portion. It has been a rare instance that I have had to refer back to the technical items learned in books."
- 2001-03 Executive director, program management, r&d, and supplier integration, Intier Automotive, Novi, Mich.
- 1998-2000 Vice president, engineering and program management , Peregrine Inc., Southfield, Mich.
- 1996-98 Plant manager, Peregrine Inc., Livonia, Mich.
- 1994-96 Chief manufacturing engineer, global modular door systems and interior trim, Delphi Interior and Lighting Systems, General Motors, Troy, Mich.
- 1993-94 Engineering group manager, engineering support, hardware and trim, Delphi Interior and Lighting
- 1985-93 Manager, various vehicle programs, Delphi Interior and Lighting
First automotive job: Associate industrial engineer with General Motors' Fisher Guide Division in Detroit in 1977
Biggest mistake and what you learned: "I was very reserved, and it took years to open up. I learned that I could have gotten further, faster."
Current challenge: "The business environment of the automotive world and its cost-reduction pressures."
On being successful: "I always finish what I start."
What about the auto industry surprised you: "How much time and effort it takes to engineer and manufacture vehicles today. After all, we've been doing it for a hundred years."
What women need to know for success in the auto industry: "Know what you want, and when you ask for it, be ready when it comes to you. And don't be afraid to take a risk."
Job to which you aspire: "I'm leaving my options open. I just want to do a good job."
What you do to relax: "I ride motorcycles and have Harleys. I read voraciously, 15 to 20 books a week."