Vehicle Technology

The Road to the Top Is Not on the Map

Overview Gary's Book Club author's Carla Bailo and Terry Barclay share insights from their book "The Road to the Top is Not on the Map"

“It’s important not to limit your potential. Progress doesn’t always travel in a straight line. Each new opportunity will broaden your skills and perspective, and the wider your experience, the more you bring to the table as you advance leadership.” — Mary Barra, chairman and CEO of General Motors.

In SAE International’s The Road to the Top is Not on the Map: Conversations with Top Women of the Automotive Industry, authors Carla Bailo and Terry Barclay interviewed 36 of the most influential women in the automotive industry. The authors quickly learned that every woman had a different story, with differences in personalities and lifestyles, yet each found her own way in a male-dominated industry.

“The women in this book share a passion for their careers and a passion for the industry,” Bailo and Barclay write. “They have encountered obstacles and the occasional failure, as well as successes, but they have embraced all their earned wisdom and generously agreed to share it.”

Each contributor offers candid and poignant insights about such topics as:

  • Career challenges

  • Education

  • Lifelong learning

  • Mentor and sponsor relationships

  • Personal satisfaction

  • Resilience

  • Work-life integration

The need for a sponsor and mentor became a recurring theme in all the interviews. The women agreed having a sponsor in the boardroom who is managing and requiring diversity helps diverse candidates move forward, which is key for any industry that is seeking multi-cultured environment.

Through the contributors’ insights and advice, readers — both men and women — are made aware of the opportunities available and how to survive in a challenging atmosphere. And, more important, a clear picture is painted on how to make it better.

Joe Hinrichs, president of Automotive at Ford Motor Company, says, “The real-life experiences shared by female leaders in The Road to the Top Is Not on the Map showcase how differences, and being unique, help make our teams and the entire automotive industry stronger and more innovative.”
Although the book focuses on the automotive industry, The Road to the Top Is Not on the Map is not exclusive to one sector. The learnings contained within, from habits and motivations to triumphs and lessons, can guide readers from any industry on a path for success.

From consumer technology to manufacturing, creating the dialogue and laying out the challenges necessary for achieving a diverse workforce is imperative for sustained growth and success.

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