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General Motors CEO Mary Barra Pledges $850K to Get More Women to Pursue STEM Careers

General Motors CEO Mary Barra wants more women to pursue careers in technology and engineering, and she is putting her money (well, General Motors money) where her mouth is. Barra just announced that GM will pledge $850,000 to nonprofits whose programs help women and minorities gain skills in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

Leading by example

If you don't know who Mary Barra is, she is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairperson of the General Motors Company. She has held the CEO position since January 15, 2014, and she is the first female CEO of a major global automaker. Barra was featured on the cover of Time's "100 Most Influential People in the World in April 2014. She was listed as one of the world's most powerful women by Forbes, for the fifth time, in 2016. In December 2016, Barra joined a business forum assembled by then President-Elect Trump to provide strategic and policy advice on economic issues.

Barra received her Bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, but she actually started working for General Motors at the age of 18 as a co-op student in 1980 and held a variety of engineering and administrative positions at GM throughout her career. She knows firsthand the importance of women in STEM fields. Her experience and drive motivates her to do all she can to get other women into STEM careers. Four nonprofits have been chosen to receive grant money to support their training programs in STEM-related fields for women.

Barra's advice for other women

"Don't take yourself out of the game before the game starts," states Barra. Meaning, if women are to be better represented in leadership positions in technology fields, they need to pursue STEM education fields.

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