The history of women in the automotive industry

While the automotive industry seems to be quite male-dominated, women have been making their mark for decades. During World War I, women took over many jobs held by men when they headed overseas. These days, it's much more common to see women holding positions both at dealerships and on the corporate side of things.

Did you know that both turn signals and windshield wipers were originally developed by women? In 1917 a woman named Charlotte Bridgwood, an auto enthusiast, came up with the idea for windshield wipers. Her daughter, Florence Lawrence, is also responsible for designing a turn-signal system, which was eventually adopted and turned into a law in the U.S. Florence Lawrence never patented her idea, but she is still credited for turn signals.

Some other noteworthy women in the automotive industry include Michelle Christensen, Marry Barra, Barb Samardzich, and Pamela Fletcher. Michelle Christensen is the first woman to ever lead a "supercar" team. Her and her team work on designing Honda and Acura's most costly vehicle, the NSX. Mary Barra is the first female CO of a large global automaker - General Motors. Barb Samardzich is the COO of Ford Europe and Pamela Fletcher is the VP of Global Electric Vehicle Programs at General Motors.

Don Franklin Auto Group is proud to celebrate women in the auto industry, especially during women's history month. We're excited to see what contributions and leadership women will continue to offer in the years to come.

Categories: People