Women on BoardsGetting On and Adding Value

April 20 – 21, 2017

  • $3,360

Harvard Longwood Campus, Boston, MA

Highly engaging and interactive. Found the other participants to be knowledgeable and have a high degree of domain expertise.
  • —Wendy Benson
  • Vice President, Thermo Fisher Scientific

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 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 in this executive education program, you will work with faculty 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 corporate public companies, for-profit companies (including private-equity and venture-backed firms), nonprofit companies, 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, innovative/entrepreneurial ventures, insurers, and hospitals
  • Learn the essential responsibilities and duties of effective board membership and leadership,based on the maturity and size of the
    company and its products or services
  • 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, Fees, and Logistics

Please note: a laptop or other portable personal computing device is strongly recommended for course enrollees.


Taj Boston
15 Arlington Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116
(617) 536-5700
$239/night plus 14.45% tax
To book online: Click Here

A limited number of rooms have been reserved at a reduced rate until March 24, 2017 . These rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be advised that hotels in the Boston area can sell out very quickly. We recommend making your hotel reservation as soon as you receive registration and payment confirmation. Please mention group code Women on Boards and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to receive the special rate.

The Taj is approximately two miles from the program location. A shuttle from the hotel to the school and back will be provided each day.

Program Check-in

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
FXB Building
651 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

The program takes place at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, located in the heart of the Harvard Longwood Campus in Boston. Public transportation is also readily available to the city’s many shopping districts, museums, and restaurants.

For directions, please click here.

Continuing Education Credit

This program is accredited by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health for

  • 1.3 Continuing Education Units (CEU’s), Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, equivalent to 13.5 contact hours of education.

All credit counts are subject to final agenda.

What is Included in the Fee?

  • Continental breakfasts, lunches, and refreshment breaks
  • Comprehensive web-based reference materials
  • Continuing education credits
  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health certificate of participation


Current faculty, subject to change.

Laurie S. Pascal, MBA, MPH

Program Director

Lecturer on Health Policy and 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 and Vice Chair, Board of Trustees
Tufts Medical Center

Beth I.Z. Boland, JD


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

Robyn C. Davis


Managing Director
Angel Healthcare Investors, LLC

Geri Denterlein, MPA


Denterlein Worldwide

Grace Fey, CFA


Grace Fey Advisors

Pamela F. Lenehan, MA


Monotype Imaging Inc.
Civitas Solutions
American Superconductor
Ridge Hill Consulting

Julie C. Norris, JD, MBA


Senior Client Partner
Board & CEO Services Practice
Korn Ferry

Willow B. Shire


Orchard Consulting
The TJX Companies

Robert Sullivan


Managing Partner, Boston
Korn Ferry

Steven Van Putten, MBA


Managing Director
Pearl Meyer & Partners, LLC.

Benaree P. Wiley


The Wiley Group

Phyllis R. Yale, MBA


Advisory Partner
Bain & Company, Inc.


This agenda may be subject to change.

Thursday, April 20, 2017
7:45–8:15 am Check-In and Continental Breakfast
8:15–8:30 am Program Orientation
8:30–9:00 am Zane, Pascal Welcome and Introductions
9:00–10:15 am Zane, Pascal Governance: What is it Really? The Leap from Doing to Governing
10:15–10:45 am Zane, Pascal Getting Started: Initiating Your Roadmap to a Directorship
10:45–11:00 am Refreshment Break
11:00 am–12:15 pm Boland What Do You Need to Know? Legal & Regulatory Responsibilities
12:15–1:30 pm Wiley Lunch Speaker: Voice from the Governance Front Line - Challenges of Making Boards Work Well
1:30–2:30 pm Norris The Board Recruitment Process: How Does It Really Work?
2:30–3:45 pm Van Putten What Do You Need Know? Executive and Director Compensation
3:45–4:00 pm Refreshment Break
4:00–5:00 pm Yale In the Trenches: Challenges in Governance - Case Study
5:00–5:30 pm Zane, Pascal Reflections on the Roadmap: Your Considerations Along the Way
5:45–6:15 pm Bus to Harvard Club
6:15–7:00 pm Cocktail Reception
7:00–8:30 pm Dinner
Friday, April 21, 2017
8:00–8:30 am Continental Breakfast
8:30–10:30 am Zane, Pascal, Sullivan Positioning for Directorships: A Workshop on Filling the Gaps
10:30–10:45 am Refreshment Break
10:45 am–12:00 pm Denterlein Communicating with Stakeholders and Shareholders: What Directors Need to Know
12:15–1:30 pm Davis Lunch Speaker: Voice from the Governance Front Line - Making the Transition to Being a Board Member
1:15–2:45 pm Zane, Lenehan, Fey, Shire Governance Challenges Panel: Real Women, Real Experiences
2:45–3:00 pm Zane, Pascal 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 will have held executive-level positions and have a minimum of 10 years of 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.