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September 09, 2006

Breaking News...Anne Stevens Leaving Ford?? Oh No!!!!

Ford_promo_25jan06_210_1According to an article by Bryce G. Hoffman and Daniel Howes in the Detroit News Saturday September 9, 2006 ,  Anne Stevens may be leaving Ford Motor Company and the automotive industry to secure a CEO position in another industry.  Stevens was named to Fortune magazine's list of the "50 Most Powerful Women in Business" for the fourth time in 2005, the same year Automotive News declared her the "Leading Woman in the North American Automotive Industry."

In 2000, she won the prestigious Shingo Leadership award and was honored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers with its Eli Whitney Award in 2003. In 2004, Stevens was named a member of the National Academy of Engineering and was also was honored with a distinguished service citation from the Automotive Hall of Fame.

Stevens became chief operating officer of Ford's Americas group last November, a promotion that gave her overall responsibility for leading Ford's core operations in the Americas and made her the first woman to become an executive vice president at the company.

This would be a tragic loss for Ford Motor Company and a blow for automotive women looking to break through the glass ceiling of the 'still' male dominated automotive manufactures key executive ranks. We need more women like Anne Stevens and Jill Ladjziak of Saturn at the top of auto manufactures to empower women to seek more executive level positions and become a larger part of the decision making process to help improve how US auto makers go to market.

The financial woes of the U.S. auto makers
GM, Ford and Chrysler are in the headlines daily, they are having extraordinarily difficult times. The three are losing market share, shedding jobs and production facilities and struggling to handle massive financial commitments on health care and retiree benefits. Where does the Anne Stevens leaving Ford fit into that equation?

I met with Anne Stevens  briefly after her inspiring speech during the Lyn St James 'Women in the Winner's Circle" event at Indianapolis International Raceway in support of female race car drivers. Anne is a huge NASCAR fan and provided quite a bit of inspiration to all the women present.

Here's a quote from The Driving Woman blog : " The ceremony wrapped up with remarks from Anne Stevens, who sent a strong message that had the audience furiously scribbling. Stevens advised drivers, teams and their supporters to commit to lifelong learning, durability, and strengh in character.  St. James ended the presentation with a call to further diversify motorsports, setting a goal for the next several years for minorities and women to achieve 10 percent of the racing community. The excitement and passion for the sport was palpable in the air."

Anne Steven has been a huge support of the Women's Automotive Association International, women in all automotive careers and working towards diversity inititives that are inclusive of women. She been invaluable in support of women in the automotive industry, the ranks of our membership will sorely miss her and her fine example of professional leadership at Ford.

Say, it isn't so!!

I will be keeping a close eye on this developing story!

Jody_2005_tm_pic_2By Jody DeVere
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