Chennai-born Dhivya Suryadevara's rise has been meteoric as she became the first female Chief Financial Officer of General Motors in mid-2018, breaking the proverbial glass ceiling. An alumnus of the University of Madras where she did her BA and MA in Commerce, she first travelled to the US in 2000 to do her MBA at Harvard Business School. An internship with the World Bank two years later, followed by a job as an investment banker in the UBS, opened the floodgates and she joined GM in 2004.
She became the CEO and CIO at GM Asset Management in 2013 and went on to become Vice President, Corporate Finance, in 2017. GM has credited her for playing a pivotal role in Opel divestiture, Lyft investment, Cruise acquisition and SoftBank's investment in GM Cruise. There were challenges in her early life - her father passed away when she was young, and Suryadevara, along with her two siblings, was raised by her mother. The pressure of managing her finances, including student loans while in the US, set her up well for corporate life.