She The People noticed an interesting exchange Wednesday between General Motors chief executive Mary T. Barra and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) during a Senate hearing over the company’s failure to fix a deadly ignition-switch flaw that led to the deaths of 13 people.
Take a look:
Barra, who has been leading GM since January, is the first female CEO of a major global automaker. In this exchange, Boxer brings Barra’s gender into her criticism, seeming to suggest that she is especially disappointed because Barra is a woman. The suggestion is that women CEOs are expected to behave differently.
STP reached out to Boxer’s office for comment and clarification and will post an update with what we hear back.
In the meantime, we’d like to hear your thoughts on whether gender should matter in the conduct of leaders.
UPDATE: An aide to Boxer sent back this e-mail in response to STP’s question about whether Boxer had expectations about Barra based on gender: “I expected her to represent a fresh start, to push against the status quo, to be more forthcoming and more specific, and to endorse consumer-friendly legislation after this disaster.”