Magazine article Workforce

Saturn Gets Female President, but Female Leaders Are Still a Corporate Oddity

Magazine article Workforce

Saturn Gets Female President, but Female Leaders Are Still a Corporate Oddity

Article excerpt

On December 14, Nashville-based auto maker Saturn Corp. announced that Cynthia M. Trudell will become president of the General Motors Corp. division. She is believed to be the first woman who will run a U.S. car company. Trudell replaces Donald Hudler, who's stepping down as Saturn president to run a new GM company that will own and operate Saturn dealerships. "Women run Canadian operations for GM and Ford Motor Co., but in the United States, I believe this is unique," Trudell said during a teleconference with reporters from Saturn's plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

Not only is her appointment unique in the car industry, it's unique-period. According to The 1998 Catalyst Census of Women Corporate Officers and Top Earners released in November, there were only two women CEOs in the Fortune 500-Jill Barad of Mattel and Marion Sandler of Golden West Financial-as of March 1998. Catalyst, a New York City-based nonprofit research and advisory organization that works with business to advance women, also reports that there are only three women who hold the title of president, and there are 74 women out of 1,146 EVPs and SEVPs, and an additional 68 women (compared to 967 men) who head business units or divisions. …

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