General Motors quietly became the first major industrial company to have gender parity on its board of directors, Forbes reported.
The automaker’s shareholders elected Jane Mendillo, the chief executive officer of the company that manages Harvard University’s endowment, to its board of directors this June, splitting its 12-member board evenly between men and women.
“We simply believe in putting the best people available on our BoD, for the needs of the company and BoD composition,” a GM GM -0.83% spokesperson told Motto in an email. “This wasn’t a ‘managed’ outcome to the 50-50 split as much as it was a thorough vetting of candidates.”
It’s a milestone for the auto industry, which has a well-documented problem with elevating women to leadership positions. The auto industry, according to a Jan. 2016 Government Accountability Office report, ranks as one of the bottom five industries when it comes to representation of women on boards, averaging about 11%.