As a young girl growing up in 1950s Kentucky, Ann walked up to her father and said, “Daddy, I want to be a lawyer just like you when I grow up.” Without hesitation, he admonished, “Girls don’t become lawyers, Ann.” She went on to graduate high school at the top of her class, and refused to stop there. While pursuing her Doctorate at the University of Wisconsin, her male mentor and esteemed professor told her that she would be a spinster with cats if she continued on this academia path. She persisted. She even fought to be the first single mom allowed in campus housing at her alma mater, after a male resident questioned her application, describing her as a ‘femme fatale.’ Dr. Clark went on to earn six degrees in total, published six books, and even served on the special education counsel to President Lyndon Johnson.
When she wanted to start the first-ever woman-owned employee assistance program in 1983, she was dismissed by roomfuls of men in the insurance world, but persevered nonetheless. Now, celebrating 35 years as acting CEO of ACI Specialty Benefits—a top ten global provider of employee assistance program, corporate concierge, student assistance, and work-life benefits to over 11,000 clients, covering 12 million lives—Dr. Clark is featured in a special edition of O Magazine and Entrepreneur Magazine celebrating Leading Women in Business.
See Dr. Clark’s story of breaking barriers here: