Kim Brycz, 49
Executive Director, Indirect, Machinery and Equipment, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain., General Motors
Why did you want to work in the auto industry? Cadillac had hired me as an intern after my first year at Michigan State.
First automotive job: Assistant buyer for indirect material at GM in 1983. I graduated from MSU on Saturday and started work at GM Monday.
Proudest professional achievement: The most challenging task was filling in for [new GM purchasing head] Bob Socia while he was relocating from Asia to Detroit. It was a month, six weeks, but it was during bankruptcy.
Current challenge at work: Restructuring our supply base.
Why does the auto industry seem like a difficult environment for a female executive? Is it more difficult to be a woman? I don't think so. Earlier was more difficult. There weren't that many female executives. Earlier was much more challenging than later.
How has the recession affected opportunities and the work environment for women in the industry? The business is smaller. The opportunities, for everybody, are smaller as well.
Dream job: I had a lot of interiors but only a year buying electronic systems. I'd like to put electronic and interior purchasing together. Purchasing is what I love.
What you do to relax: Our boys are 16, 14 and 12 and all in sports. Oddly, watching them at their games is relaxing. I like tennis and golf. I used to play a lot. Less golf these days. The trick is to balance work time and spend some time with family. They're fun.
-- Jesse Snyder