DEARBORN - In honor of March being Women’s History month, @Ford is highlighting some of the company’s outstanding female leadership throughout the next several weeks. These features will focus specifically on those who have had great success in manufacturing, a typically male-dominated field.
Their stories are inspiring and their drive and Go Further spirit have helped shape Ford Manufacturing into the success it is today.
Know a female Ford team member who deserves recognition? Nominate her in the comments section below.
Note: The comment function is available only inside the Ford firewall.
Who: Linda Cash
Title: Executive Director, Vehicle Operations Manufacturing Engineering (VOME)
Time with Ford: 29 years
Q. What was your first role with the company?
A. I started out as an Industrial Engineer, Final Assembly.
Q. Can you identify one experience you’ve had with Ford that really had an impact on you?
A. I was appointed to the role of Manufacturing engineering manager at Atlanta Assembly. I was the first and only female to have the position in Atlanta. I was responsible for Maintenance and Engineering, which included complete responsibility to achieve production, efficiency and budget goals. This is the position where it all came together for me and the true potential that one could have at Ford was crystal clear.
Q. What do you like about working at Ford?
A. But of course, the people are the greatest element. I’ve worked with some outstanding teams.
Q. What do you love about manufacturing?
A. I love the flow and pace, the interaction with every level of employee, the strength and resilience required and the fact that there is measurable, physical output at the end of the day that gives satisfaction.
Q. When you were a child, what did you think you would be when you grew up?
A. I thought I would be a teacher.
Q. Who have been your female role models?
A. My mother because she taught me to love God, prioritize family, seek excellence, be strong and “get it done.”
Q. In your role, what are you most looking forward to in 2014?
A. I am looking forward to successfully launching the most exciting products ever! Executing quality improvement projects, gaining traction in the Ford Production System and enjoying the ride. And, in my critical role of mother, seeing my son graduate from college.
Q. Is there one achievement you are most proud of?
A. I have learned to be proud of every achievement no matter how great or small taking absolutely nothing for granted.
Q. What advice would you give to young women who are in the process of choosing what type of career path they want to follow?
A. Don’t choose for location or money or glamour; choose with your heart. If you love your work, you can tolerate the difficulties, you can proceed with patience, you can overcome challenges and you’ll have many, many successes to celebrate.
Q. What would you say has been the key to your success?
A. I’ve listened well, studied hard, held myself accountable, treated people fairly, exercised patience and flexibility, accepted my flaws, exercised humility, and helped as many people as I could.
Q. In your opinion, what is the best response one can have to failure or perceived failure?
A. Admit the lack of success, assess your contribution to it (saying it out loud really helps)…you might even need to laugh at yourself…then learn from it and move on.