Toyota promotes highest ranking woman ever by Benjamin Snyder @FortuneMagazine March 4, 2015, 12:29 PM EST E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons Note: This story was updated at 4:48 PM. Automaker Toyota has promoted American Julie Hamp, the current head of communications for North America, to managing officer. She’ll be the highest ranking woman in Toyota’s 77-year history, according to Bloomberg. The move is part of a broader push for diversity among Toyota’s executive ranks as part of a restructuring. The company’s leadership culture has been made up mostly of Japanese men. “Toyota has realized that they’re not a Japanese carmaker, they’re a world carmaker,” Edwin Merner, president of Atlantis Investment Research in Tokyo, told Bloomberg. “If they’re going to understand overseas markets and plan, design and build cars, then they have to have people who have a good understanding of those markets.” Toyota characterized the moves this way in a statement: By appointing talented people from affiliates outside Japan to executive positions, Toyota aims to foster innovation by enabling people from many different backgrounds to contribute and provide input.