By Tiffany Hsu for The New York Times
Straight out of college, statistics degree in hand, Debbie Manzano started working for Ford keeping an eye on the glass production process at the company’s massive Rouge complex in Michigan.
Six Ford factories and 24 years later, after stints in engineering, production and quality inspection around the country, she’s back where she started. She’s now the boss, overseeing production of the F-150, the best-selling truck in America.
Responsible for what she calls “a little city” spanning 2.6 million square feet, with 4,300 employees, Ms. Manzano, 46, holds the rare status of being a woman at the helm of a major American production facility. Ford has 28 plants in North America, with only three other women in charge.
But as the first woman to fill the role, Ms. Manzano faces other challenges. There’s the skepticism of employees who have never had a female boss and the high expectations of employees who have always wanted one.