Magazine article Black Enterprise

We've Really Come a Long Way

Magazine article Black Enterprise

We've Really Come a Long Way

Article excerpt

In February 1988, BLACK ENTERPRISE unveiled "America's Hottest Black Managers." A list of 25 professionals, there was only one division president and not a single woman. In the Publisher's Page for that issue, Chairman and Publisher Earl G. Graves Sr. wrote about their challenging ascent to the executive suite, predicting that the nation's first black CEO would come from their ranks.

By 2000, our cover boasted "The New CEOs," featuring four of six black chief executives of the nation's largest publicly traded companies. Our report on the "Top 50 Blacks in Corporate America" was big news for our audience. Despite racial inequities and other issues, they represented a cadre of professionals who discovered an effective formula for shattering the glass ceiling.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

By 2005, we unveiled our list of "The 75 Most Powerful African Americans in Corporate America," and the business landscape had dramatically changed. In the aftermath of Sept. 11 and the dot-com crash, corporate America had grown ultracompetitive. The war for talent demanded that professionals wield proven and battle-tested skill sets as well as broad and fluid leadership capabilities. Global experience--not just an M.B.A.--was becoming the passport to broader opportunities. And although many companies struggled with how to best incorporate diversity into their management practices and corporate culture, it was increasingly promoted as a "business imperative. …

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