Mary Barra Continues to Assert GM’s Harassment-Free Corporate Policy
Besides commenting on the electric car tax credit issue and the fate of the owner-driver model of business for automakers, GM’s CEO Mary Barra has also advocated for the brand’s “harassment-free” work culture for its employees. She articulates GM’s company-wide policy: “We encourage our employees that if something is happening, that they raise it. There will be no retaliation.”
Not only is Barra the first female CEO of a lead auto manufacturer, but she has also been the driving force behind General Motor’s “Speak Up for Safety” policy which she established in spring of 2014. The policy encourages and rewards staff for bringing up customer concerns and product improvement suggestions. It also exhorts employees to report instances of sexual harassment to help foster accountability and a safe environment for all individuals in the workplace. Now, a few years after it’s implementation, the program continues to positively impact the atmosphere at GM.
Mary Barra’s statement and successful policy aren’t the only refreshing things that provide a welcome ray of hope amidst the recent sexual harassment accusations that have surfaced in the past few months. Her expert leadership has guided General Motors through some hefty challenges this past year, including the selling two of its brands, Opel and Vauxhall, as well as refocusing its marketing goals. She has also helped add some muscle to GM’s technology initiatives, which has landed the company at the forefront of the self-driving and electric vehicle trends.
We wish Barra continued success as she continues to portray what a successful CEO should look like, regardless of gender. We also give kudos to GM and other automakers who are starting or reinforcing “harassment-free” workplace policies — because, as Barra put it, “it’s unacceptable to not have a policy [against sexual harassment].”