‘Michigan Matters’ Exclusive: Of Autos, Women & Stature

(CBS Detroit) – It was a perfect storm of factors emerging over decades that helped Mary Barra, a hard charging young engineer,  crack the glass ceiling and become CEO of General Motors.

Laura Colby, a New York-based Bloomberg News journalist, appeared on “Michigan Matters” with Senior Producer/Host Carol Cain to talk about it.

Colby’s fascinating new book, “Road to Power:  How GM’s Mary Barra Shattered the Glass Ceiling,” is being published by Wiley & Sons and hits  store shelves this week.

Colby discussed what she learned about Barra, GM and the role of women in the industry while researching her book. Colby began working on it after the Waterford native took over as CEO last January.

Florine Mark, Denise Ilitch, Terry Barclay and host Carol Cain talk about women in business, politics and sports on "Michigan Matters." The programs  airs 11:30 am Sunday on CBS 62. (credit: Ken Bryant/CBS 62)

Florine Mark, Denise Ilitch, Terry Barclay and host Carol Cain talk about women in business, politics and sports on “Michigan Matters.” The programs airs 11:30 am Sunday on CBS 62. (credit: Ken Bryant/CBS 62)

Then, a high-powered panel of Florine Mark, president and CEO of the Weight Watchers Group, Terry Barclay, president and CEO of Inforum, and Denise Ilitch, CEO of Ilitch Enterprises,  continued the conversation about women and their stature in autos, business, politics and society.

Ilitch mentioned her mother , Marian Ilitch, and their experiences years ago when they were  often the only women in the room during  league meetings. The Ilitch family owns the MLB Detroit Tigers and NHL Detroit Red Wings.

Mark, one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the nation, talked about  her early days, when  a bank refused to give her a $5,000 loan for her business unless her husband signed for it.

Barclay, whose statewide organization has been issuing report cards on women in business, corporate boards and other matters, discussed the challenges and opportunities yet ahead for women.

‘Michigan Matters’ Florine Mark, Denise Ilitch, Terry Barclay Discuss Women's Issues Seg 1‘Michigan Matters’ Florine Mark, Denise…

‘Michigan Matters’ Florine Mark, Denise Ilitch, Terry Barclay Discuss Women's Issues Seg 2‘Michigan Matters’ Florine Mark, Denise…

‘Michigan Matters’ Florine Mark, Denise Ilitch, Terry Barclay Discuss Women's Issues Seg 3‘Michigan Matters’ Florine Mark, Denise…

‘Michigan Matters’ Florine Mark, Denise Ilitch, Terry Barclay Discuss Women's Issues Seg 4‘Michigan Matters’ Florine Mark, Denise…

You can hear the conversation by watching “Michigan Matters” 11:30 a.m Sunday on CBS 62.

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