Women Who Made Significant Contributions To The Auto Industry
|   Friday, June 16, 2017
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How would today's cars look if there were no women? Strange thing to ask at first, but it makes more sense if you know a bit of history. For example, they would have no wipers or turn signals. In a world dominated by men, women were the ones who came up with surprisingly practical ideas.

Mary Anderson
She is the woman credited with the invention of windshield wipers and her invention was patented in 1903. Farmer and real estate agent, Mary was also a scientist.
The system invented by her included a lever in the passenger compartment that operated a rubber blade out on the windshield. A counterweight ensures the permanent contact between the wiper and the glass. In the 1920s, after its patent expired, car manufacturers began using the system as standard on motor vehicles.

Florence Lawrence
A celebrated silent film actress who invented direction indicators and warning lights, based on a mechanical principle. Every time the driver operates the brake pedal, a STOP sign appears in the rear bar. Unfortunately, she did not patented any of the inventions and never earned money from these ideas.

Helene Rother
Helene was originally a jewelry designer. She was subsequently hired by General Motors to make elegant interiors for high level cars in the 1940s. Her first job was comic book designer at Marvel studios. A year later, she was employed at General Motors in Detroit, Michigan.

Mary Barra
She received a job at General Motors when she was only 18 years old. She was the first woman to work as a designer in the automotive industry. Later, she became the first woman CEO in a car company, General Motors. In 2014, Mary was named by Forbes as one of the most powerful women in the world, while Fortune ranked first in a similar top.
Barra began work at General Motors at 18 as a co-op student in 1980. She went on to hold a host of engineering and administrative positions, including manager of the Detroit/Hamtramck Assembly plant.
As CEO, GM issued 84 safety recalls for more than 30 million cars. Barra was even called to testify before the Senate regarding the deaths attributed to a faulty ignition switch. The company was under suspicion of paying for awards to prop up its image during this period.

Michelle Christensen
She is an American car designer. She is the only woman in the world to make the exterior design for a supercar, the new Acura NSX. Michelle is 35 years old and has arrived in the automotive industry before becoming a university graduate. Her first big project was the NSX, the beast with three electric motors, and a twin-turbo V6 engine that together develop 573 hp.

Before joining Acura back in 2005, she was an intern at Volvo's Camarillo studio in California. In 2010 she worked for General Motors briefly, then came back to Acura. Christensen also received the Woman on Top award from Marie Claire magazine.
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