This millennial PR executive shattered the glass ceiling—but it came with some cuts


By: Amadi Taylor

#HowIGotHere is a series on LinkedIn that reveals the stories of successful people and how they got started in their careers. One particular story talks about the one of the youngest PR executives, Emily Graham. She is currently the only Black female partner and also one of the youngest at her company FleishmanHillard, one of the top-three PR firms in the world. 


Forty-five percent of women of color are often the only or one of the only people of their race or ethnicity in the room at work, according to a 2018 survey by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co. Being an “only” is twice as common for senior-level women--and as women rise in the ranks, representation diminishes.


“As I began to advance and get more of a seat at the executive table, I started to be perceived and treated as a threat,” says Graham, who by her mid-twenties was working as a senior vice president at a leading PR agency in New York City.


Graham’s rapid rise in communications and PR began with an opportunity to work on Merrill Lynch as a client in 2008 when the company was thrust at the center of the worst financial crisis in recent history. After working to build the brand reputation of the company, she went on to counsel top executives at companies such as Accenture and Shell Oil.


“I made it a goal in my career to make more women come along with me,” says Graham.


To hear more of her story on LinkedIn: