Women on BoardsGetting On and Adding Value

  • On-Site
  • May 12, 2025
  • $3,800

Harvard Longwood Campus, Boston, MA

“The faculty of this program is top notch. Maybe 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

Program Overview

Supporting Executives with Directions, Tools, and Approaches to Increase Representation of Women in Healthcare 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 30% of corporate board directors are women. Nearly 50% of venture capital firms focused on health care have no women on their boards of their portfolio companies. Yet studies show that companies with women on their boards make decisions that better protect company value and performance.

Accomplished and qualified women want positions on boards of directors and want to advance to leadership roles on them. Many are unclear how to secure these positions of responsibility. Women on Boards: Getting on and Adding Value works to increase the representation of women in governance positions in health care by teaching strategies and competencies to help women to become a first-rate board member, to prepare you for the inevitable challenges, and to provide direction, tools, and approaches to reach your full potential.

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

The program faculty features successful women board members and other experts in board governance and practice. You will meet high-performing, accomplished, and ambitious women who have achieved much in their careers and who are ready 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 develop your own personalized action plan to seek and obtain a board directorship, and to advance from there.

This interactive course uses case studies and experiential sessions to prepare you for directorship and to start you on the path to becoming a sought-after candidate. You will learn

to evaluate board opportunities that meet your preferences and fit, learn to communicate effectively in the language of boards, and gain knowledge and skills you will need to be effective.

Women on Boards of Directors

Organizations with women leaders perform better than those that don’t. They surpass others in social responsibility, sustainability, and financial performance. Evidence shows that companies with female board members are more successful than those without, a key concern for organizational competitiveness.1 As a program participant, you will:

  • Learn essential legal, regulatory, and operating knowledge to serve on boards of directors
  • Develop your understanding of roles and responsibilities to be effective
  • Meet and learn from women who have achieved success as board members
  • Develop your own action plan to seek, secure, and advance in a board position

Learn From Harvard Faculty

Women on Boards: Getting On and Adding Value is designed and directed by Ellen M. Zane, MA, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management at Harvard Chan and CEO Emeritus at Tufts Medical Center, and Laurie Samuels Pascal, MBA, MPH, Senior Lecturer on Health Management at Harvard Chan.

1 Why Diversity Matters, Catalyst

Objectives & Highlights

  • Grasp the essential differences among boards of for-profit companies (including private-equity and venture-backed firms), non-profit 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

To All Our Course Enrollees
Join our Virtual Introduction & Alumnae Panel on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 from 5:30-6:45 PM ET. Check your registered email for more information and the link to the event.

Attendance is voluntary.

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


May 2025

Please check back for updated information.

Program Check-in

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

The program takes place at 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

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 Samuels Pascal, MBA, MPH

Program Director

May 12, 2025
Senior Lecturer on Health Management
Department of Health Policy and Management
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Pascal Coaching and Consulting LLC

Ellen M. Zane, MA

Program Director

May 12, 2025
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

Who Should Apply

Recommended participants in this course will be highly-accomplished leaders from diverse industries seeking positions on boards of directors in the health care industry and/or have a demonstrated commitment to supporting the representation of women on corporate boards. Ideal participants have held executive-level positions and have a minimum of 10 years of broad-based management and leadership experience.

This program also is designed to help women currently holding board positions who wish to expand their engagement with boards in health and related industries.

While the program is focused on women (and those that identify as women) executives, the program is open to all executives who meet the admissions criteria.

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 non-profit organizations

Develop an Unmatched Network of Women Executives

Program participants will be executives with diverse backgrounds, functions, organizations, and industries, committed to improving health care through board leadership. By bringing together senior leaders ready to assume board-level positions, this program offers a career-enriching experience in a small, personal setting where you will learn from fellow executive participants plus from savvy practitioners and faculty. You will have ample opportunity to exchange insights and best practices. You will leave the program with your own network of supporters on whom you can rely for guidance as you implement your plan to attain a board position—or to advance in one—in the health care sector.