Pioneer’s Story Inspires STEM Students, Professionals
Special to the NNPA from The Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — A General Motors executive who said she was once discouraged by a teacher from pursuing an engineering career received the 2014 Technologist of the Year award from Women of Color magazine.
Alicia Boler-Davis, General Motors’ senior vice president of global quality and customer experience, was awarded the highest honor at the 19th annual Women of Color Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Conference gala on Saturday in Detroit.
“We can never overestimate the impact we can have on young people considering STEM careers,” Boler-Davis told the audience of more than 1,500 technologists, engineers, scientists and students. “While many companies here are fierce competitors in the marketplace, the advancement of STEM education is one area where we are best served by working together.”
Boler-Davis, who in 2007 became GM’s first African-American plant manager, said a high school counselor introduced her to a summer engineering program, sparking a drive in her that was supported by her family, role models and mentors.
Educated as a chemical engineer, Boler-Davis took numerous career-building positions at GM and applied her technical background along the way.
“Alicia pioneered a path of many firsts through her career and is one of the highest-ranking African-American woman in the global auto industry,” said John Quattrone, GM’s senior vice president of global human resources.