Mary Barra, Chief Executive Officer of General Motors, at GM headquarters in Detroit, MI, January 2014. Barra is the first female to head a major global auto company.

Mary Barra, CEO, GM

Women and Adversity: Mary Barra at GM

Both Fortune and Forbes magazines print a list of the most powerful women in the world, and it’s worth a look at them.

At, Fortune puts Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors and often cited as the first CEO of that company, at the top on the list of American women. The magazine has separate listings for Asian-Pacific and Europe, Middle East, Africa.

Forbes has one list for women around the world at It ranks Barra No. 5 after Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton, Melinda Gates and Janet Yellen.

An article by Jonathan Chew in the Sept. 23, 2015 issue of Fortune, What Volkswagen’s next CEO can learn from GM’s Mary Barra at tells what Barra is about. Of the five suggestions in the article, No. 1 is “She was honest.”

(Photo: Ben Baker, Redux)


Article By: Jo Ann Mathews

I published three ebooks in 2020: Women and Adversity, Honoring 23 Black Women; Women and Adversity, Recognizing 23 Notable Mothers; and Women and Adversity, Saluting 23 Faithful Suffragists to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. These books are meant to be study guides for all students from grade school through college to help in choosing topics for assignments and to learn more about these noteworthy women. Go to, and to learn more.

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