Women on BoardsGetting On and Adding Value

  • Online
  • April 2830, 2021
  • $2,500

“The faculty of this program is top notch. May be the best group of relevant, talented presenters I have had the opportunity of learning from in my professional career. The prestige of Harvard shines through with the quality of the design and implementation of this course. I will never forget this experience."
  • —Jennifer Manning
  • Director, Business Development, Lonza

Online Program Overview

Providing Women Executives with Direction, Tools, and Approaches for Attaining a Seat on Health Care and Related Industry Boards

Gender disparity on boards of directors is well recognized and documented, whether in the for-profit, non-profit, or government sectors. In the United States, fewer than 20% of corporate board directors are women. Nearly 80% of venture capital firms have never had a woman represent them on the board of one of their portfolio companies. Yet studies show that companies with women on their boards make decisions that better protect company value and performance.

Profoundly accomplished and qualified women have an interest in attaining positions on boards of directors and then assuming leadership roles on these boards, but may be unclear how to successfully secure these appointments. Women on Boards: Getting on and Adding Value will put you on a productive path towards attaining a governance position in health care by focusing on the strategies and competencies that will help you succeed at being a first-rate board member, preparing you for the challenges you will face, and providing direction, tools, and approaches for attaining a board seat.

This is a Must-attend Program for Women Seeking Board Positions

This online program will feature faculty who are highly successful women board members and other experts in the field. You will join other high-performing, accomplished, and ambitious women who have already achieved much in their careers and who desire to take their talent, leadership, and executive skills to the next level by serving on boards in health care and related industries. As a participant, you will also have the opportunity to develop a personalized action plan to seek and obtain a board directorship.

This highly interactive course will use case studies and experiential sessions to prepare you for directorship and start you on the path to being a sought-after candidate. You will expand your ability to evaluate board opportunities based on your own preferences and cultural fit, learn to communicate effectively in the language of boards, and gain critical knowledge and skills you will need to be effective.

Women on Boards of Directors

Organizations with women in leadership positions perform better than those that don’t. They surpass others in social responsiveness, sustainability, and financial performance. Recent evidence also indicates that companies with female board members are more successful than those without women, a key concern for organizational competitiveness.1 As a participant in this program, you will:

  • Learn the essential legal, regulatory, and operating knowledge you will need to serve on boards of directors
  • Develop a deep understanding of your roles and responsibilities as an effective board member
  • Connect with, and learn from, women who have achieved success as board members
  • Develop an individual action plan to seek and secure a position on a board

1 Why Diversity Matters, Catalyst

Objectives & Highlights

  • Grasp the essential differences among boards of for-profit companies (including private-equity and venture-backed firms), nonprofit organizations, and public-sector enterprises
  • Appreciate the legal, operating, and regulatory differences among boards depending on the nature of the organization; e.g., pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, technology firms, venture-backed firms, insurers, and hospitals
  • Learn the essential responsibilities and duties of effective board membership and leadership, based on the maturity and size of the company
  • Connect to and learn from women who have achieved demonstrable success as board members
  • Develop your own individual action plans to seek and obtain board seats

Credits and Logistics

Continuing Education Credit

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health will grant 1.6 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for this program, equivalent to 16 contact hours of education. Participants can apply these contact hours toward other professional education accrediting organizations.

All credits subject to final agenda.

All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation upon completion of the program.


Current faculty, subject to change.

Laurie S. Pascal, MBA, MPH

Program Director

Senior Lecturer on Health Management
Department of Health Policy and Management
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Pascal Consulting

Ellen M. Zane, MA

Program Director

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management
Department of Health Policy and Management
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
CEO Emeritus, Tufts Medical Center and Tufts Children’s Hospital
Tufts Medical Center

Beth I.Z. Boland, JD


Vice Chair
Litigation Department
Securities Enforcement and Litigation Group
Foley & Lardner LLP

Robyn C. Davis, MBA


Managing Director
Angel Healthcare Investors, LLC

Geri Denterlein, MPA


Founder and CEO

Andrew Dreyfus


President and Chief Executive Officer
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Grace Fey, CFA


Grace Fey Advisors

Margaret Keane


Synchrony Financial

Pamela F. Lenehan, MA


ATN International
New Residential Investment Management

Laura Mantoura


Executive Director
Russell Reynolds Associates

Cathy Minehan, MBA


Julie C. Norris, JD, MBA


Senior Client Partner
Board & CEO Services Practice
Korn Ferry

Ivan A. Pirzada


Managing Director
Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

Willow B. Shire


Orchard Consulting
The TJX Companies

Steven Van Putten, MBA


Managing Director
Pearl Meyer & Partners, LLC.

Benaree P. Wiley, MBA


The Wiley Group


This agenda is subject to change.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021
5:30–6:45 pm Pascal, Zane Program Orientation and Networking
Thursday, April 29, 2021
8:00–8:30 am Optional Minglilng / BYO Coffee
8:30–8:45 am Pascal, Zane Welcome and Introductions
8:45–10:00 am Pascal, Zane Governance: What is it really? The Leap from Doing to Governing
10:00–10:30 am Pascal, Zane Getting Started: Initiating Your Roadmap to a Directorship
10:30–10:40 am Break
10:40–11:55 am Boland What Do You Need to Know? Legal & Regulatory Responsibilities
11:55 am–12:25 pm Lunch Break
12:25–1:25 pm Minehan Voice from the Governance Front Line: For-Profit and Not-for-Profit Boards – Similarities and Differences
1:25–2:25 pm Norris The Board Recruitment Process: How Does It Really Work?
2:25–2:35 pm Break
2:35–3:50 pm Van Putten What Do You Need to Know? Executive and Director Compensation
3:50–4:00 pm Break
4:00–5:15 pm Dreyfus, Keane, Pirzada, Zane CEO Panel: Selecting New Board Members to Enhance Board Effectiveness
5:15–5:45 pm Pascal, Zane Reflections on the Roadmap: Your Considerations Along the Way
5:45–6:15 pm Optional BYO Wine Reception
Friday, April 30, 2021
8:30–10:30 am Pascal, Zane Positioning for Directorships: A Workshop on Presenting Yourself
10:30–10:40 am Break
10:40–11:55 am Wiley Voice from the Governance Front Line: Challenges of Making Boards Work Well
11:55 am–12:25 pm Lunch Break / Optional Lunch Conversation
12:25–1:25 pm Denterlein Communicating with Stakeholders, Shareholders, and Communities: What Directors Need to Know
1:25–2:15 pm Davis Voice from the Governance Front Line: Transition to Being a Board Member
2:15–2:25 pm Break
2:25–3:40 pm Fey, Lenehan, Shire, Zane Governance Challenges Panel: Real Women, Real Experiences
3:40–3:55 pm Pascal, Zane Program Closure

Who Should Apply

Participants in this course will be highly-accomplished women from diverse industries seeking positions on boards of directors in the health care industry. Ideal participants have held executive-level positions and have a minimum of 10 years of broad-based management and leadership experience.

Women currently holding board positions who wish to expand their engagement with boards in health and related industries are also invited to attend.

This course is focused on boards of directors for organizations and industries in the health care sector, including

  • Biotechnology companies
  • Medical device manufacturers
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Health information technology firms
  • Hospitals, health systems, and other health care delivery organizations
  • Other health care-related organizations, including nonprofit organizations

Develop an Unmatched Network of Women Executives

Program participants will be highly-accomplished US and international women executives from diverse backgrounds, functions, organizations, and industries, united by their commitment to improving health care through board leadership. By bringing together women who are senior leaders interested in assuming board-level positions, this program offers a career-enriching experience in a small, personal setting where you will learn from your fellow executive participants as well as from practitioners and faculty. There will be ample opportunity to exchange valuable insights and best practices. You will leave the program having developed a network of leading women you can rely on for guidance as you return home and implement your plan to attain a board position in the health sector.