Webinar: Leading While Black in Corporate America

This webinar was sponsored by the Allegacy Center for Leadership and Character. Phil Anderson, Associate Teaching Professor in the Wake Forest School of Business conducted an interview with Beverly Anderson, President of Global Consumer Solutions at Equifax.

Click to view the video: https://youtu.be/35jnoMgYono

Summary of topics:

Equifax Global Consumer Business: Role as President

  • Assess the business & create a strategy to grow the business
  • Focus on addressing pressing change issues to set foundation for growth strategy
  • Global – North and South Americas; all business on one global platform to serve the world

Decision-making at Enterprise-Level

  • Situational leadership – allow empowerment and, if necessary, take charge

Leadership in Racial Unrest and Pandemic

  • Leadership Team created a letter of solidarity
  • Hosted global conversation on race (e.g., townhall)
    • Dialogue was real and open – perspective sharing
    • Created black employee affinity group – BOLD BLACK
    • Unconscious bias training
    • Open dialogue
  • Pandemic
    • Adopt technology to virtual meetings
    • Attend skip meetings
    • Focus on keeping employees safe
    • 2000 people the technology and security to work from home
    • Create protocol and procedures to keep people safe


  • Access to credit allows people to realize dreams and build wealth
  • Love growing and transforming business
  • Leading a very diverse team
  • B2B – love competition


  • Attended Florida A&M University – historical black college
  • Welcome letter – Dear Superstar
  • Dean welcomed and walk candidate around campus
  • Professional development to get ready for business
    • Loved Banking – it fit
  • Attended Harvard for MBA
    • Linked all aspects business
  • Loved Leading


Managing Transitions in a Career

  • Stay or Go
    • Stay and climb – see path, sponsorship, perseverance
    • AMEX is a great company to work
    • Hard as African American Woman – path to navigate from middle to senior
  • Jump to Next Company
    • Next job and look two or three after
    • Who would support you?
    • Look at culture and future senior leaders
  • Being Black
    • Takes perseverance
    • Look environment to survive and thrive
    • Voice not fully accepted
    • Have courageous conversations – perspective sharing
    • Shape a positive, inclusive, and safe climate
    • Data is your friend – talk about accomplishments and facts – hard for people to discredit – part of your story – “I grow and transform businesses.”
  • Leading While Black
    • Assess what the next level up expects from you
    • OK move on with confidence
    • Need to be tough – strengths of gut
  • Known at Start
    • Being willing to take risks
    • Identify your purpose
  • Reflect and Advise of being a person of color
    • Be competent – deliver results with integrity
    • You will have to exceed expectations and standards – achieve excellence
    • Teach and inform people you work with
    • Lean into your uniqueness and perspective – strength
  • Code Switching or Being Someone Different
    • Enhance your self-awareness
    • Be aware of stereotypes – adjust style as necessary
    • Work to build relationships with all peers, supervisor, and direct reports
    • Earn credibility – greater degrees of freedom to bring more of self
    • Know how to and build courage to have courageous conversations
    • Business or organization enhanced with Inclusion
    • Shape a culture where everyone can thrive and flourish
  • Being African American Women in Business
    • Strong and powerful
    • Very community focused
    • Ability to bring people together
    • Politically involved
    • Add value to all organizations
  • Career in Financial Service for People of Color
    • Great opportunities
  • Address Mirco-Aggressions
    • Try to understand intent of person’s actions – no intent to hurt
    • Give people space and grace – higher road – sets condition for candid conversations
    • Educate and inform – how did I feel and why
  • Measure D&I Effectiveness
    • Hiring – diverse slates and percentage of people
    • Talent Management – diverse pipeline being developed, by level, and business unit
    • Amount of events and conversations
    • Number of people involved in initiatives
  • Racial Equity and Racial Equality
    • Equity – P4S2s are equal for all people – level playing
    • Equality – where we know gaps – we address gaps
  • How do you ensure AI is equal?
    • Keep looking for biases
  • Importance of Black History Month
    • Reflect and celebrate contributions to our country