“That’s a milestone and I would give GM credit for that,” Shaiken said. “There’s a new sensibility and they are moving with it versus dragging their feet on it. I suspect that it is broader in the company, I don’t know to what extent, but it will ultimately be much broader across the company.”
GM's 12 independent directors have senior leadership and board experience in the fields of information technology, digital commerce, retail, higher education, investment management, international affairs, defense, transportation, cybersecurity, and pharmaceuticals.
A board of directors is elected by shareholders to represent their interests. Every public company must have a board made up of people from inside and outside the company. It decides a variety of matters, from high-level hiring, to dividend policies and payouts, and executive compensation.
GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said the diversity of GM's board is a competitive advantage as GM works towards selling all light-duty zero-emissions vehicles by 2035.
“Mark and Meg will bring unique experiences to the Board, especially in technology, brand building and customer experience that will help us drive value for shareholders and other GM stakeholders now and into the future," Barra said in a statement.
Besides Barra and Whitman, here are GM's other female board members:
Pat Russo, chairman of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Company. Linda Gooden, retired executive vice president at Lockheed Martin. Jane Mendillo, retired CEO of Harvard Management Company. Judith Miscik, CEO and vice chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc. Carol Stephenson, retired dean of Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario.
By comparison here is how some other automaker's boards stack up in terms of gender:
Tesla: 2 of 9 are women Ford: 4 of 14 are women Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles): 3 of 11 are women Toyota: 2 of 14 are women Nissan: 2 of 12 are women Renault: 6 of 16 (one is not independent) are women Volkswagen Supervisory Board: 6 of 20 are women