24 Apr 2014
Advancing the cause of women’s leadership in businessTopics:
Having broken barriers in her own career, Ilene Lang (AB 1965, MBA 1973) has made it her mission to help other women succeed in business. The retired CEO of Catalyst now serves as senior advisor of the global research and advisory firm, which promotes inclusion and female leadership in the business world.
Women are getting more management opportunities, says Lang. Still, significant progress needs to come in the boardroom and the C-Suite, where women continue to lag in key agenda-setting, decision-making roles. “Companies with more women in senior leadership and board positions, on average, financially outperform those with fewer,” she says.
Lang has been a pioneer since her days as a student at HBS, where women comprised only 4 percent of her class. She went on to become a senior executive of Lotus Development Corporation, then founding CEO of the search engine AltaVista. Levelling the playing field for women leaders has been both a professional and personal lifelong focus, especially during her 10-year tenure as CEO of Catalyst. “I like to say my avocation has become my job,” she says.
(Published April 2014)
Class of MBA 1973, Section F