46 The Costco Connection APRIL 2017
daily reminder to all of our [;;;,;;;]
employees around the globe that, yes, we
want to win and work hard and be passionate, but we need to do it the right way even
when it’s hard.
CC: GM just gave a ;;;;,;;; grant to
the national nonprofit group Girls Who
Code. What is that and why did you do it?
MB: It’s pretty well documented that
women are not entering the technical fields
as quickly as men, specifically in coding.
Learning to code, even if you’re not going to
do it for the rest of your life, is fundamental.
Girls Who Code understands that young girls
start to veer away from math and science in
middle school. This very effective program
engages middle school girls with clubs and
teaches them how to code but also links it to
what they’re passionate about. One of the
girls coded an app to help fight bullying.
Another did something related to the Zika
virus. By the time they get to high school
they’re engaged and then it flows through to
college. Girls Who Code is a very important
partnership because not only is it the right
thing to do for society, but we are going to
need more and more technical talent in the
company and we need to make sure that the
entire population is learning the skill sets to
have access to really good-paying jobs.
CC: GM has committed to using ;;;
percent renewable energy to power its ;;;
facilities worldwide by ;;;;. How will you
MB: The path to get to ;;; percent
renewable energy is first to make sure that
everything we do that uses energy is as
efficient as possible, using
new technology and daily
diligence to conserve elec-
tricity. The next step is to
make sure we are procuring
more renewable energy. We
recently purchased wind
power that was equal to the
electricity needs of ;; of our
U.S. facilities. We’re also
going to continue to develop
battery energy storage
options to address the intermittent chal-
lenges we have with some renewable
energy, like wind and solar, to make sure
we have uniform powering for our facili-
ties. We will be collaborating with utilities,
policy makers, government officials and
renewable energy developers in a team
effort to drive the scale we need to do this.
CC: How do you maintain work-life
MB: I’ve been married for ;; years
and I have a wonderful husband and two
children. It’s about being there for the
most important things. I’m a soccer mom
and a hockey mom and a cross-country
mom. I try to be at all the events that are
important to my children. When my child
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 45
GM CEO Mary Barra (left)
and Girls Who Code founder
and CEO Reshma Saujani at
Mary Barra and the 2016 Chevrolet Bolt
at the North American International Auto
Show in Detroit.
is not on the soccer field I’m responding
to emails or reading documents. I think
it’s about setting priorities and realizing
that sometimes the most urgent is not the
CC: What leaders inspire you?
MB: I have been fortunate to have many
mentors throughout my career, too many
to name. The people I admire the most are
my parents, neither of whom went to college. They both worked hard, and were born
and raised in the Depression. They taught
me the power of following your passion and
that there’s no substitute for hard work.
They couldn’t have been more supportive
of my brother and me.
CC: Why should young women and men
want to work in the auto industry?
MB: Because it’s so exciting. Right now
we’re seeing more change than we’ve seen
in the last ;; years. For most people, the
most important purchases you make are
a car and a home. It’s a fashion statement
and a technology statement. People name
their cars! We feel very special that we get
to participate in one of these very important purchases in someone’s life.
CC: What do you want your legacy at
GM to be?
MB: I believe in the men and women of
General Motors. They are some of the most
dedicated, hardworking, creative, talented
people. General Motors [can] create solutions that allow people to have safer, better,
simpler lives and to solve some of the issues
that are tagged on the auto industry, like
congestion and the environment. My goal
is to improve the way people get from point
A to point B and to do it in a way that’s
responsible and makes the world a better
place and improves the environment. C
Costco member Tom Beaman is a freelance
writer in Rochester Hills, Michigan.