International Women’s Day is coming up next week. We want to bring you all of the women who shattered glass ceilings. Advancements on the engineering front, racecourse, and enterprise-level broke down barriers to help get women where they are today.
Dorothee Pullinger served as a feminist icon. She was an automobile engineer who curated her automobile designs to accommodate women. Her crowning achievement was the Galloway vehicle which featured higher seats for better eyesight and storage space. In addition, Dorothee was a founding member of the Women’s Engineering Society and inspired many women to pursue careers in the male-dominated automotive and engineering industries.
Many know Florence Lawrence as the “first movie star” because she was the first actor credited by name in a motion picture. People don’t know that she has also made her mark in the automotive industry in two significant ways as an engineer. In 1914 she invented a rudimentary turn signal. She used a button to control an “auto signaling arm,” which raised and lowered a flag on the car bumper. Lawrence also developed turn signals. When the driver engaged the brakes, a switch flipped a stop sign on the back bumper. These crude inventions served to create the highly specialized turn signals and brake lights that we rely on today.
If anyone had a passion for racing, it would be Denise McCluggage. She was named the First Lady of Racing, among other nicknames such as Lady Leadfoot and the Fastest Woman on Four Wheels. These were awarded based on her work in the field. In 1959, McCluggage became the first woman to win a feature sportscar race. She was also the author of the weekly column, “Drive, She Said,” which allowed her to be the first journalist inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. Whether Denise is on track or behind the pen, she made significant advancements for women in many industries.
At General Motors, Mary Barra served as Chairwoman, the first female CEO, and the first woman to head any major automaker. Even in her prestigious role at General Motors, she stays active on the Board of Directors of the Walt Disney Company, the Stanford University Board of Trustees, and the Detroit Economic Club. Her work in the automotive industry and the business world pushed her to the top of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in 2016. Because of her boundary-pushing dedication, she had compelled other women to do the same.
At Performance Collision Centers, we want to push the industry forward in every way and show women they can do anything. Check out our Careers page to see how we can help you achieve your goals!