25 May 2016

Supporting Critical Initiatives


Elizabeth Raun Schlesinger (MBA 2005)

The School’s commitment to educating women leaders was a key reason Liz Raun Schlesinger (MBA 2005) made a 10th Reunion gift to the HBS Fund for Leadership and Innovation. The fund supports innovations such as HBS’s recently launched Gender Initiative, which focuses research and teaching on the advancement of women leaders and the promotion of gender equity in business and society.

Raun Schlesinger, managing director/head of self-storage investments at W.P. Carey Inc., applauds Dean Nitin Nohria’s leadership in this area. “Dean Nohria was one of my professors at HBS. Seeing his emphasis today on women’s and men’s professional and family responsibilities made me reflect on the School’s influence in my own life.”

Since joining W.P. Carey’s investment department right after HBS, Raun Schlesinger has played a major role in forming the global net-lease REIT’s selfstorage investment team. Now the mother of three young children, she says her ongoing friendships with women she met at HBS —“some of the most amazing people I’ve ever known”—have been “incredibly valuable” in figuring out how to build a career and a family simultaneously. “There’s really no better support system than peers who are going through the same challenges,” she notes. “It goes way beyond what people talk about as networking.”

Raun Schlesinger says her HBS degree gave her the self-confidence to gain traction in a field where women in leadership roles are scarce. “A woman with a Harvard MBA can negotiate a deal to buy a company without apologizing for being a woman or a mom,” she observes. “I’m happy to support a school that is giving more women a seat at the table.”

Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 2005, Section C

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