Meet Laura Schwab: Aston Martin's First Female President in Its 105-Year History

Laura-Schwab.jpg

Laura says, "It’s a very pivotal moment in time for women, not just in the automotive space, but in the world. A lot of barriers, or perceived barriers, have started to be removed. I think in automotive, specifically, we’ve still got a job to do. I never thought of myself as a role model but now that I am in this role, women are looking to me and saying, ‘I can do it.’ And if I can play a small part in encouraging women that automotive is a wonderful place to work and an inspiring and exciting place, then I’ll take on that role for sure.”

The British luxury car-maker, Aston Martin, just announced their newest President appointment.

Meet Laura Schwab, head of Aston Martin the Americas. 

I'm personally excited about this one, just because I used to work for GM Financial, a division of General Motors, who also has a woman CEO. In the auto industry, this is a big shift in thinking and leadership.  

As I always say - this is less for Distinction Studio about highlighting a bunch of women and screaming femininity as it is about diversity - celebrating the diversifying of how we see business, do business, hire for business, and ultimately more balance out our world and power dynamics in leadership. 

Only a small percentage of Aston Martin's 2500 employees are women, actually. Schwab is excited to attempt to change that dynamic. 

Says Schwab, "I am desperate for more women to apply for jobs in automotive. For some women it’s scary…they might not think they know that much about cars or that much about technology. I am a very firm advocate of more women applying for these roles.”

Laura Schwab was recruited to Aston Martin back in October, 2015 from Jaguar Land Rover where she spent 15 years.  However, she found out she was pregnant after accepting the President's position. The company was super supportive throughout her pregnancy, and now she is ready to lead, as a Mom with a one-year old toddler. 

[Source]