General Motors

The first female Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of General Motors was Dhivya Suryadevara. She was appointed as CFO in 2018.

Breaking Barriers: The Trailblazing Journey of Dhivya Suryadevara, the First Woman Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of General Motors

Dhivya Suryadevara made history when she became the first woman Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of General Motors (GM) in 2018. Her remarkable achievements and leadership skills have not only shattered glass ceilings but also inspired countless young women pursuing careers in finance and business. In this article, we delve into Suryadevara’s journey, her contributions to General Motors, and the impact she has made on the automotive industry.

Dhivya Suryadevara - First Female Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of General Motors
Dhivya Suryadevara – First Female Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of General Motors

Early Life and Education

Dhivya Suryadevara was born on 14 April 1979 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Dhivya Suryadevara displayed exceptional intelligence and determination from a young age. Dhivya studied in St John’s Senior Secondary School in Mandaveli, Chennai. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Commerce at the prestigious Ethiraj College for Women in Chennai before pursuing an MBA at Harvard Business School. Through her academic pursuits, Suryadevara honed her financial acumen and developed a solid foundation for her future career.

Dhivya Suryadevara in her childhood
Dhivya Suryadevara in her childhood

Rise through the Ranks at General Motors

Suryadevara’s career at General Motors began in 2004, where she joined as a senior financial analyst in the Treasurer’s Office. Over the years, she steadily climbed the corporate ladder, showcasing her financial expertise and strategic thinking. She took on various pivotal roles within the company, including serving as the vice president of Corporate Finance and Treasurer, and later as the Chief Investment Officer.

Dhivya Suryadevara at General Motors
Dhivya Suryadevara at General Motors

Contributions and Impact

As the CFO of General Motors, Suryadevara has played a significant role in the company’s financial transformation and growth. Her expertise in capital allocation and effective cost management has been instrumental in preserving General Motors’ financial stability and enhancing shareholder value. Suryadevara was also responsible for overseeing the company’s financial planning, analysis, and reporting functions, ensuring transparent and accurate financial data for informed decision-making throughout the organization.

Suryadevara’s leadership during challenging times, such as the 2008 financial crisis and the ongoing transformation of the automotive industry, has been commendable. With her sharp financial insights and innovative strategic thinking, she has helped guide General Motors through complex financial landscapes and position the company for long-term success.

Suryadevara was named to Fortune’s 40 Under 40 in 2015 and 2018.

Inspiration and Empowerment

Beyond her accomplishments at General Motors, Dhivya Suryadevara has become a symbol of inspiration and empowerment for women around the world. By breaking traditional gender barriers, she has paved the way for future generations of female leaders within the automotive industry and beyond. Her success story encourages young women to embrace their passion, pursue their dreams, and challenge societal norms, emphasizing that gender should never limit their potential for greatness.

Dhivya Suryadevara
Dhivya Suryadevara


Dhivya Suryadevara’s journey to become the first woman CFO of General Motors has been nothing short of extraordinary. Her relentless pursuit of excellence, financial expertise, and visionary leadership have not only elevated her own career but have also paved the way for further diversity and inclusion within the corporate world. As a symbol of empowerment and an inspiration to women everywhere, Suryadevara’s legacy serves as a reminder that breaking barriers is not only possible but immensely rewarding. With her trailblazing accomplishments, she has left an indelible mark on the automotive industry and beyond.

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