We at Ford Motor Company believe in diversity and encourage diversity and inclusion. Throughout our history, we have collaborated with exceptional talents, the majority of whom are women, to advance these principles. We have actually employed women in our payroll since the very beginning of our business. Join us to celebrate the achievements of a few female employees who have inspired us.
In extending the legacy of women who came before them, females working at Ford have risen to new heights in the last few years. The 1990s saw an era of recent success for women working at Ford, specifically in assembly and manufacturing plants. In 1994, Deborah Coleman was the first female leader of a plant for assembly vehicles at Ford. Coleman continued her climb up the corporate ladder before being appointed Ford’s Vice President for Global Quality in 2005. In 2005, she was one of the only two African-American women to achieve the rank of vice president at Ford.
The year 1995 saw Anne Stevens was promoted to the plant manager of Ford’s Enfield Plant in England and became the first woman plant manager within Europe. Stevens was later promoted to become Executive Vice President at Ford Motor Company and chief operating officer for Americas in 2006. Americas in 2006, and she is the only female executive vice president in the history of the Company.
Women were not just filling the positions that required leadership, but the 90s were a significant decade for women working in engineering and design. In 1997, Susan M. Cischke, Vice President for Environmental and Safety Engineering, was the first woman to win the Engineering Society of Detroit Horace A. Rackham Award for humanitarian accomplishment. Cischke was twice ranked one of the Automotive News100 Leading Women and was selected as one of Crain’s Detroit Business Most Influential Women.
Ford women were influential in the design of many of the Company’s products. The appealing design, as well as the feel of Mustang’s interior, was largely the result of designer Emeline King’s eyes. King became Ford’s initial female African-American vehicle designer, and she also created elements that were part of Probe as well as the Thunderbird. It was in this period when was formed the “Windstar Moms” focus group composed of 30 female engineers established to create the Ford Windstar, a vehicle developed by women specifically for women.
Globally, Canadian chief executive Bobbie Gaunt was appointed the president-elect and CEO of Ford Motor Company of Canada in 1997. Two years later, Gaunt was appointed as a Ford Motor Company vice president and officer. Despite breaking obstacles for females within Ford, Gaunt stated, “I am a president who happens to be a woman, not a woman who happens to be president.”
Women continued to become crucial components in the production process of Ford throughout the 21st century. Women were a vital part of the manufacturing process at Ford in the 21st century. They were integral to the creation of the Ford Motor Company’s top-selling vehicles. They also rose to the ranks of corporate officers, such as Birgit Behrendt, who was named corporate officer in the year 2013. Her career began with Ford in Cologne, Germany, as a commercial apprentice. Behrendt became the highest in the ranks of a German national, and in the year 2017, she became the first German woman to be a national officer employed by Ford of Europe.
A few women who are in management positions within Ford Motor Company today include Kiersten Robinson, General Manager of Family Vehicles and president of Mexico and Canada for Ford Blue; Jennifer Waldo, the chief people and customer experiences officer; Elena Ford, chief customer experience officer for Ford Blue; and Dianne Craig President of Lincoln.
Since the very beginnings of the history of Ford Motor Company, pioneering women have laid the foundation for countless others who have been instrumental in the growth that is the Company. When a company invests in the advancement and empowerment of women, everyone gains. Ford’s long tradition of women joining its ranks, fostering talent, and pushing the boundaries of what is normal The Company continues to build upon its history into 2023 as well as beyond.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a multinational business headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, that is dedicated to building an improved world where everyone is able to explore and follow their dreams. Ford’s Ford+ plan for growth and value creation blends existing strengths with new capabilities and constant communication with customers to enhance the experience and build the loyalties of its customers. Ford produces and provides the most innovative, indispensable Ford trucks as well as sport utility vehicles, commercial vehicles and vans, and Lincoln luxurious vehicles, in addition to connected services. In addition, Ford is establishing leadership positions in mobility solutions, which include self-driving technology, and offers financial assistance through the Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford employs around 182,000 employees across the globe. Further information on Ford, as well as its products and Ford Credit, is available at corporate.ford.com.