Although numerous studies acknowledge that women influence a significant portion of today’s new-vehicle sales, unfortunately, in many facets of the male-dominated automotive field women continue to be underrepresented, especially when it comes to the design studios.

Crystal Windham, GM’s and the industry’s highest ranking African American female car designer, has managed to squeeze her way through the door of today’s design studios, holding her own and bringing a perspective that men just don’t have.

In fact, while researching new trends in luxury purses such as Louis Vuitton several years ago, Windham came up with the award-winning two-tone upscale interior for Chevy’s hot-selling Malibu, which has been praised by the industry and customers alike.

And as we all know, a stunning exterior design and a lackluster interior is just like looking at another pretty face that’s lacking any intellectual brain power. Windham’s keen eye for design and her attention to detail has allowed her to marry both the interior and exterior designs of a number of GM vehicles to complement one another. Like Gilles, who we featured earlier has become the leading man over at the Chrysler Group, heading up all of their designs, Windham is on track to do the same.

Recently, I caught up with her for a candid one-on-one interview at this year’s North American International Auto Show.

Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to www.JeffCars.com. Follow him http://twitter.com/#!/JeffCars/.