Born on December 24, 1969 in Royal Oak, Michigan, Mary completed her school education from Waterford Mott High School. In 1985, she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from General Motors Institute (now Kettering University).
Only at the age of 18, Barra joined General Motors in 1980 as a co-op student.
Afterwards, she attended Stanford Graduate School of Business on a GM fellowship, receiving her MBA degree in 1990.
Continuing work at General Motors, Mary went through a phase of several diverse engineering and administrative positions. In February 2008, she became vice president of Global Manufacturing Engineering. Barra went on to handle positions as the executive vice president of Global Product Development, Purchasing, and Supply Chain as well.
Becoming the first female head of an automobile manufacturer, Mary took over as chief executive officer in 2014 to succeed Dan Akerson at General Motors. She made GM move into driverless and electric-powered cars through acquisitions including Strobe, a startup in driverless technology, as CEO. Under her leadership, GM began to sell the Chevy Bolt EV, beating rival Tesla to the first electric car priced under $40,000 with a range of 200 miles in 2017.
Despite being threatened by President Trump to remove the company's government subsidies, Barra went ahead and announced the closure of five North American plants and 14,000 worker layoffs in November, 2018.
Keeping aside her loyalty and dedication towards General Motors, Barra also serves on the board of Disney since 2017, being only the fourth woman to be able to do so. She also serves on the board of directors of the Detroit Economic Club and Detroit Country Day School. She is a member of the Stanford University Board of Trustees, the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council, and the Duke University Board of Trustees.
With her strong headed personality and unflinching confidence, Mary Barra has consistently featured on the Forbes Most Powerful Women List for many years now, even rising to the fourth rank in 2018. More so, she was first in Fortune's Most Powerful Women list in 2015 and held the prestigious spot till 2017.
Barra has made it to the top with her inclusive leadership style in a career spanning over 33 years. She is an inspiration not just to women all over the world but also to everyone looking to make it big in their careers with generosity of spirit and an undying belief.