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January 13, 2014 AT 4:05 PM
The incoming CEO of General Motors hopes her appointment as the first woman to lead a global automaker will inspire young women and men to pursue careers in science. Mary Barra's first appearance before reporters since getting the job in December eclipsed the glitzy rollout of the GMC Canyon small pickup truck Sunday at an old industrial building north of downtown Detroit. Barra, who officially takes the job Wednesday, led the truck-unveiling ceremony and then was immediately surrounded by several hundred journalists. Responding to a question about being an inspiration to women, the 52-year old said she hopes her engineering credentials make her a role model for all young people. "With my technical background - I'm an electrical engineer - I hope I can motivate young women or young men to pursue a career in science," she said.