Ford, GM drop ‘chairman’ title in nod to changing times

Ford, GM drop ‘chairman’ title in nod to changing times

Because words matter.

Ford Motor Company notified federal regulators that the 118-year-old automaker has officially replaced the use of “chairman” with “chair.”

And they’re not the only ones making language changes.

The Board of Directors voted on July 8 to amend Ford’s bylaws effective immediately and adopt gender-neutral language throughout, including the title “chair” in place of “chairman” as well as various others revisions. The company filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission dated July 9 shows the actual editing of the original company document with the use of markups.

So now Bill Ford is known as executive chair rather than executive chairman of the  company his great-grandfather founded.

Bill Ford, who now goes by executive chair rather than chairman, stands next to Linda Zhang, chief engineer of F-150, after Ford Motor Co. unveils the electric F-150 Lightning at its World Headquarters in Dearborn on May 19, 2021.

Ford spokeswoman Marisa Bradley told the Free Press on Monday, “Our roles at Ford aren’t gender-exclusive and these changes help limit ambiguity, and drive the inclusive and equitable culture we’re striving for.”

The company had to file notice because it’s publicly traded and investors must be alerted to any modifications to bylaws, regardless of what the updates are.

Back in mid-March, JPMorgan Chase & Co. updated its bylaws to reflect gender-neutral language, replacing “chairman” with “chair” and gender-specific pronouns like “he” and “his” with non-gender-specific terms such as “director.”

President Joe Biden tours the Ford Rouge EV Center on May 18, 2021, in Dearborn. From left, Corey Williams, plant manager, Biden, Bill Ford,  executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, and Ford FEO Jim Farley.

The largest U.S. bank “scrubbed its gender designations as pressure grows from both society and investors on global businesses to show they are diversifying and becoming more inclusive,” Bloomberg reported.

More:Ford stock was cheaper than a sandwich. Now shareholders are gloating.

More:Ford lures top lawyer, senior Amazon employee in latest high-profile hires

This is part of an ongoing pivot from non-corporate gender-specific terms such as fireman, policeman, stewardess, mailman and waitress to firefighter, police officer, flight attendant, mail carrier and server. 

Automotive Modification