01 Dec 2018

Lighting the Way

How Beverly Anderson is forging a foundation for black alumnae


Photo courtesy of Beverly Anderson

A recent study of alumni offers insights into the reality of the challenge that African American women face in their careers: Of the 532 African American women who earned their MBAs at HBS between 1977 and 2015, only 67 achieved high-ranking executive positions.

One of those 67, Beverly Anderson (MBA 1997), is working to grow that number. An executive vice president at Wells Fargo with nearly three decades in the financial industry, Anderson hopes that her legacy will be one of talent development. “The best part of leading teams is the ability to develop future leaders. I love to mentor all ages and backgrounds because I personally get great satisfaction in watching others develop into their full potential.” Fueled by their success, she is dedicated to illuminating their path.

“My advice to women who look like me is to believe that all things are possible and that your assets can be key differentiators in a sea of overachievers,” she says. “Determine what anchors you and leverage what sets you apart, and then go boldly into your future with confi­dence that you have what it takes to be your best self in any situation. Finally, don’t forget to reach back and bring someone along.”


Photo courtesy of Ceena Beall

“It is so important to shed light on the issues that underrepresented minorities face in the pursuit of professional success. Their stories provide inspiration to those who follow.”
—Ceena Beall (MBA 2019), President, Leadership and Human Capital Club


Photos by (left to right) Stuart Cahill, Stu Rosner, John Deputy, Neal Hamberg

“It takes extraordinary ability, perseverance, and support to transcend a corporate environment that fails to offer every employee equal access to opportunities for growth. An organization’s strength is its diversity, and managers who recognize this are better positioned to leverage the skills, experience, and expertise of all their employees, not just some of them.”
—From Beating the Odds: Leadership Lessons from Senior African-American Women, by Laura Morgan Roberts, Anthony Mayo, Robin Ely, and David Thomas

Symposium on Race, Work, and Leadership: Learning about and from Black Experience

The sixth annual Gender & Work Symposium convened thought leaders in organizational studies who have crafted the discourse on the intersections of race, work, and leadership. The cross-disciplinary exchange centered on learning about and from the black experience. The symposium enhanced community among scholars who often feel isolated in their commitment to generating breakthrough insights.

Return to Tomorrow, Transformed
Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 1997, Section D

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