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AUTO COMPANIES FIND SUCCESS WITH DIVERSITY PROGRAMS

7/12/2017, noon | Updated on 7/12/2017, noon
A survey by Atlassian showed, “that 83 percent of tech employees believe their company is already diverse, and 79 percent ...
Lisa Brown, the diversity and inclusion consultant for Volkswagen Group of America, said that the automotive industry has to market to the Black community and do business with Black-owned firms. (Freddie Allen/AMG/NNPA)

diverse communities to attract top talent.

Barrett added that GM didn’t just started thinking about diversity and inclusion.

According to GM’s “Diversity & Inclusion” report, the automaker launched the first minority supplier program in the auto industry in 1968. GM also initiated the first

minority dealer program in the auto industry in 1972 and the first women’s dealer program in 2001.

Barrett noted that General Motors takes pride in the fact that the company

promotes from within.

“It’s important to note that Mary Barra started as an intern,” said Barrett. Barra

worked her way through the system all the way up to chairman and CEO.

Alicia Boller-Davis, an African- American woman, is the executive vice president for global manufacturing. Barrett noted that Boller-Davis started as an intern, too, and worked her way up to run one of the largest manufacturing organizations in the world.

Barrett also pointed out that Ed Welburn, the former global design chief for GM, was also the first African American designer ever hired at GM.

“[Welburn] came in during 70s and was able to move all the way up,” said Barrett Barrett said that it’s important for minorities to look up and

see people like Boller-Davis and Welburn.

“That’s important for us, but we got more to do,” said Barrett. Barrett continued: “We can be great today, but better tomorrow. We always want to be on the cutting edge. We just don’t want to compete and win in the marketplace, we want to compete and win that battle for talent, as well.”