Prudential Divisional President Salene Hitchcock-Gear’s First Job Was Cleaning Chalkboards After School

Featuring a broad cross-section of women who have distinguished themselves across a rich variety of careers, our Portraits of Power series is a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Black Enterprise, and of Black women. It’s a place for today’s businesswomen to share their own favorite images and their own stories, in their own words. Today’s portrait is Prudential’s President of Individual Life Insurance, Salene Hitchcock-Gear.

Salene Hitchcock-Gear

President, Individual Life Insurance/Prudential

Nicknames ­­­Sally Ann, Hitch

My first job was cleaning the chalkboards after school; 5th grade.

My big break came when a former colleague recommended me for a CEO position in 2000.

I’ve had to work hardest at being patient with others seeing the big picture.

I never imagined I would work in corporate America.

I wish I’d learned sooner how to network.

The risk I regret not taking is … No regrets, I have taken many risks.

If I could design my fantasy self-care day, it would be spent on the beach reading, doing yoga, and getting a massage.

Not much keeps me up at night.

When I’m struggling, I say to myself, keep going.

I am unapologetically me.

Portraits of Power is a yearlong series of candid insights from exceptional women leaders. It is brought to you by ADP.