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Women in Mobility Spotlight: Angela Xydis 

Posted: March 23, 2023

Angela Xydis is getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.  

Just three years into her career, Xydis is pushing boundaries and finding a way forward through the unfamiliar.   

“When I started my career, I was working with people of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels. I started to have a really hard time speaking up in meetings, feeling like I wasn't smart or experienced enough, and being nervous to take on certain jobs or tasks,” said Xydis. “Luckily, I kept showing up and pushing myself and have started to prove to myself that yes, I can do this, I do deserve to be here, and I am a valuable member of my team.” 

Xydis joined General Motors in 2020 and currently works as a program manager – software defined vehicles, and in her few years there, she’s discovered an environment focused on the importance of DEI in the workplace.  

In a field with high male representation and lower gender diversity, being a woman has shaped the way she views and interacts within the mobility engineering industry. In fact, it wasn’t always an industry she saw herself stepping into.  

“I didn't grow up being really interested in cars or planes or trains. I also never grew up working with my dad on his car.... which is something, that in my experience, a lot of young men that were in the mobility engineering field did grow up doing,” said Xydis. “Sometimes this made me feel behind or that they knew so much more about this industry than I did, but I started to realize there were other unique experiences that I brought to the table as well.” 

For Xydis, those unique experiences started during her undergrad at Michigan Tech University. Xydis was part of her university’s AutoDrive Challenge™ team, a collegiate competition tasking university teams to develop and demonstrate a full autonomous driving passenger vehicle, sponsored by SAE International and General Motors. 

Fast forward and Xydis now serves as an event captain for the Concept Design portion of the AutoDrive Challenge™ II. As an alumna of the program, she brings first-hand experience and insight to the competition and to university teams. At AutoDrive and Beyond, a team full of individuals that bring different experiences or ideas to the group makes the whole team stronger. Xydis noted that having diverse representation as more women move into leadership positions can encourage young girls to envision themselves in these roles and inspire curiosity in STEM.  

And for young women and girls interested in STEM, Xydis has a piece of advice:  

“Continue to investigate and learn more about the things you're interested in. Don't be afraid to jump in and try something new because that is how you will continue to grow and move into jobs and projects, you're passionate about,” said Xydis. “It can be scary sometimes to make the first jump and if you are having a hard time, I would recommend seeking out other women within the fields you're interested in and talk to them about their career path and advice from them.”