Benaree Pratt Wiley (MBA 1972) has gathered many takeaways over a long career that has spanned consulting, the nonprofit sector, and entrepreneurship, but one in particular has had lasting resonance: Success is personal.
“It’s easy to get on a treadmill of expectations that may not be what works for you,” says Wiley, who served for 15 years as president and CEO of the Partnership, a nonprofit talent management organization for minority professionals in greater Boston. “I want to grow and contribute to a professional organization, but also have a rich life outside of work with my family and in the community.”
Wiley credits her MBA for providing that flexibility and balance, although business school was not an established route for women when she graduated from Howard University in 1968. “There were only three women in my section, so you were aware of being one of a few,” she recalls. “I’ve come to appreciate how fortunate I was to have an experience that instilled so much confidence in my ability to try new and different things.”
That carries over to Wiley’s increasing involvement in corporate boards, even as she continues her work as principal of the Wiley Group, a firm specializing in strategy, talent management, and leadership development. “I love learning about different sectors and industries, observing good leadership in action, and participating alongside an effective management team,” she says. “I know I’m a voice in the room; there’s the potential to create change in the workplace for women and people of color. That’s how I hope to make a difference in the work I’m doing now.”
(Published March 2017)
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