TodayApril 15, 2022

Ford of Mexico diversifying gender and powertrains

Ford’s first electric Mach-e made only by women

Anyone that knows the history of Ford Motor Company knows that Ford has been a diverse company on the assembly line since Ford created the assembly line. African Americans from the South traveled to Michigan to find a decent paying job. As early as 1913, at the Highland Park Plant, the coil-manufacturing department employed women to assemble magnetos. Now it is Ford of Mexicos turn.

In 1925 Ford established a relationship with Mexico. Ford of Mexico is increasing its awareness of women in the workforce. In an industry and a country known for being male-dominated, the Cuautitlán Stamping and Assembly Plant (CSAP) Gender equality program is designed to incorporate women for diversity and talent.

Twenty-three women from the Women’s World Car of the Year (WWCOTY) joined a zoom meeting to hear Marcos Madrid, Site Plant Manager at Ford Motor Company, Cuautitlán Izcalli, México, Mexico, to talk about the female-only Mach-E project.

The Mustang Mach-E, Ford’s first electric car, was produced, assembled, and painted by the CSAP women at the Cuautitlán, State of Mexico plant. The MAchh-E is the first electric vehicle produced in Mexico and by Ford globally. The CSAP women were part of a CX727 training program. There were not enough women on the frontline to do the project, so they invited women from human resources and the rest of the plant.

The project’s goal is to encourage women to join CSAP and bring diversity from 7% to 20% of the population. In the United States, the gender makeup of Ford employees (hourly and salaried), is 24.3% are female; 75.7% are male. Ford of Mexico knows they can do better and this year 40% of CSAP’s new interns are women. More importantly, women’s salaries are the same as men’s salaries at CSAP. This was accomplished by increasing women’s wages from 28% to 35% and 25% in managing positions.

There is a concerted effort to get to younger women before a stereotype of what a woman should consider as a job for themselves. There is a push to get more women to work in technical schools.

Ulises Perez Escamilla, Senior Business Partner HR en Ford Motor Company, was cerebral about quoting percentages as people, “The push isn’t just to get a percentage of women and men and LGBTQ people working in the factory. You see gender equity in the factory as a number to look like we are divers,e. It’s not the way we are working here. The more different approaches we have here, the more diverse the factory, the more ideas we generate and that has been working very well for us.”

Perez Escamilla went on to say that stereotype breaking doesn’t work just for women; it works for men too. You see different jobs where women perform better, like forklift drivers. The average age of a person joining CSAP is 23-25 years old. Ford Motor Company embraces families where other companies frown on “fraternization”. Ford of Mexico sees whole families become part of the Ford family and are seeing relationships forming inside Ford. This is the same at the headquarters in Michigan. The Ford communications department recently ran a story about a couple that met in 1988 at the Electronics Division and this year are celebrating their 30th anniversary. Ford is not afraid that hiring women will distract men to the point they can’t work.

Women’s strength was the center point of the painting on the all-electric Mustang Mach-E, an eagle right in the middle of the quiet but mighty Mach-E. Sunflowers represent women’s strength and stability, and the Warriors in Pink highlight Ford’s fight against breast cancer.

The women-only car’s key element is to bring light to the workforce’s need for diversity in Ford’s plants. It was done by bringing out a new powertrain, liberating the idea that only one powertrain can achieve mobility and freedom for the world and can only be made by one gender.


Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.

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