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Even among Harvard MBAs, few black women ever reach corporate America's top rungs

Jenna McGregor writes, “In n recent months, Corporate America's corner office has actually gotten a little less diverse -- not more -- when it comes to the number of African-Americans. With American Express chief executive Kenneth Chenault stepping down, there are just three black CEOs in the Fortune 500. And with the departure of former CEO Ursula Burns from Xerox, announced in 2016, there are no black female CEOs leading companies in the S&P 500 index.

New research featured in the latest issue of Harvard Business Review doesn't offer much hope that those numbers will improve any time soon. Even among graduates of Harvard Business School -- arguably the most elite graduate business program in the country -- only 13 percent of black female Harvard MBAs over the past 40 years have reached the senior-most executive ranks. That's compared with 40 percent of non-African American Harvard MBA degree holders who reach those top ranks overall.


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