Beth Chandler Named as New President and CEO of YW Boston

Beth Chandler
August 21, 2018 — YW Boston, which dates back more than 150 years when it was founded as the first YWCA in the nation, today announced that Beth Chandler has been named as the organization's president and chief executive officer.

Chandler has been serving in the role on an interim basis after Sylvia Ferrell-Jones, retired last September after serving 10 years in the post, two months before she passed away.

“For more than two decades, I have worked to further the rights of women and people of color,” said Chandler. “It’s an honor to lead the YW as it works to empower all individuals, while also reshaping the power dynamic within corporations and organizations in our city so they are more equitable, and therefore stronger and more productive. Evidence that links diversity to corporate financial performance is becoming increasingly prevalent.”

Chandler's appointment "comes at a time of transition for the organization, and at a critical time for our city as it seeks greater gender equality and leadership diversity," according to a statement issued by YW Boston.

Noting that racial and gender disparities in Boston are "at alarming levels," YW Boston said it is currently working to refine its programs and develop more targeted solutions to address Greater Boston’s racial and gender inequities.

Specifically, the organization said it will work to "educate and empower individuals, organizations, and corporations to take action toward a more equitable society, from exploring personal bias to changing policies and practices at corporations and institutions." It will do this work through three initiatives: Dialogues on Race and Ethnicity, Youth Leadership Initiative, and LeadBoston.

“I congratulate Beth Chandler on her new role as CEO of YW Boston,” said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “The YW is an active partner with the City of Boston, empowering individuals and organizations to be active in issues in our community."

Prior to joining YW Boston, Chandler served as vice president at the Achievement Network, a national nonprofit dedicated to helping urban public and charter schools close the achievement gap.

She also was deputy director of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, the largest funding source for civil legal aid in the state, and manager of national business development for Neighborworks America, a national leader in affordable housing and community development.

A former professional basketball player, Chandler received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Since its founding in 1966, YW Boston has been engaged in critical social issues, from civil rights, education reform, equal job opportunities, pay equity, access to health care, and other causes central to the elevation of women’s rights. Today, the YW’s mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.