CEO Teresa Clarke Relies on Grandma’s Advice: ‘Keep on Keeping On’

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 CEO Teresa Clarke.

Teresa Hillary Clarke

Chairman & CEO,

My first job was working as a cashier at McDonald’s.  My first professional job was as a financial analyst at an investment bank in Beverly Hills.

My big break came when I was admitted to Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), which is a summer internship program on Wall Street for exceptional students of color.

I’ve had to work hardest at self care in the face of a busy professional, family, and social life.

I never imagined I would live and work in Africa.

I wish I’d learned sooner to focus less on what other people think.

The risk I regret not taking is letting someone know that I loved him.

If I could design my fantasy self-care day, it would be spent doing yoga, sitting in a whirlpool, eating fresh Mexican food and dark chocolate, swimming in warm tropical waters, sailing into the sunset, and praying outdoors under the stars.

Menopause keeps me up at night.

When I’m struggling, I say to myself what my grandmother taught me: “You’ve got to keep on keeping on.”

I am unapologetically proud and braggadocious about my wonderful son.

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