Amy Danforth: Women in Leadership Speaker Series

By Fiona Kelley ’19

Recently, the APH community welcomed Amy Danforth, currently executive vice president of Enterprise Services at Fidelity Investments as part of our Women in Leadership Speaker Series. Having attended a small all-girls high school herself, Ms. Danforth gave our students a glimpse into the successful career of a truly educated, enlightened and empowered woman. Ms. Danforth spoke of how she had a fairly traditional upbringing; however, after hearing an alumna from her school speak at her high school graduation about her professional experience, much like she spoke to us this week, she saw how successful women can really be.

Taking risks and constantly pushing herself along the way, Ms. Danforth was hired by Fidelity in 1986. In her time with the company, she has occupied positions in multiple areas across the company. She found some of her most rewarding work, however, as the leader of Fidelity Charitable, an independent public charity that has aided donors in supporting over 200,000 nonprofit organizations with tens of billions of dollars in grants since 1991. When Ms. Danforth described the trajectory of her career, she said it was more of a “rock climb vs. a ladder.”

Ms. Danforth shared with us some valuable life lessons she has learned over the course of her 35-year career. She asked us to, “stay open to new experiences, work with smart people who value integrity and have confidence in yourself.”

Ms. Danforth also urged us to think about our finances. She reminded us that “Your financial health is important, just like your physical health.” Ms. Danforth exemplified to our students the true worth of an all-girls education and the girls were inspired to see a woman, once in their shoes, to have generated such success. Steph S. ‘02 said, “It was really cool to see how her all-girls education has shaped her into such a successful woman.”