Defying the Odds

Alexandria Shesterkin

FCA US powers STEM pipeline with diverse talent

1986 was the year Marietta Cleveland started her first job as a skilled trades supervisor at the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois. Having just graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in electrical engineering, Cleveland had little management experience, but was tasked with managing a group of electricians, pipefitters and millwrights— all of which were men.  This made her the first woman maintenance manager at FCA US and the first African American manager in her department.
 
“I was drawn to the position because it allowed me to work directly with the workers on the floor and utilize my technical skills at the same time,” Cleveland said.
 
Fast-forward to 2015 and Maria Quintero is walking the halls of FCA US LLC headquarters in Michigan. A recent graduate, she’s now an engineer with the Company’s Institute of Engineering (CIE) Program. She admits being a woman and a Latina is not something you frequently encounter in the field.
 
In the nearly 30 years since both women started their careers and despite having more women in the workforce today, Cleveland and Quintero represent the small number of women and the even smaller number of minority women working in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields.
 
Source: 
FCA North America