Women on BoardsGetting On and Adding Value

  • On-Site
  • April 1819, 2024
  • $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 27, 2023 from 5:30 to 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.


April 2024

Hilton Garden Inn Boston Brookline
700 Brookline Avenue
Brookline, MA 02446
TEL: 617-935-0077 FAX:
$259/night + 11.70% tax

Book Online

The hotel is approximately 1 mile from the program location and they also provide a shuttle bus to the Longwood Medical Area.

A limited number of rooms have been reserved at a reduced rate until March 20, 2024. 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.

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 15.75 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

April 1819, 2024
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

April 1819, 2024
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


April 1819, 2024
Vice Chair
Litigation Department
Foley & Lardner LLP

Securities Enforcement and Litigation Group
Foley & Lardner LLP

Robyn C. Davis, MBA


April 1819, 2024
Managing Director
Angel Healthcare Investors, LLC

Deborah B. Goldberg, JD, MBA


April 1819, 2024
Treasurer and Receiver General
State of Massachusetts

Sarah Iselin


April 1819, 2024

Lynn LaPierre


April 1819, 2024

Pamela F. Lenehan, MA


April 1819, 2024
New Residential Investment Management

ATN International

Cathy E. Minehan, MBA


April 1819, 2024

Julie C. Norris, MBA, JD


April 1819, 2024
Senior Client Partner
Board & CEO Services Practice
Korn Ferry

Ivan A. Pirzada


April 1819, 2024
Managing Director
Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

Dorothy Puhy, MBA


April 1819, 2024
EVP & Chief Operating Officer

Christopher A. Simon


April 1819, 2024

Micho Spring, MPA


April 1819, 2024

Steven Van Putten, MBA


April 1819, 2024
Managing Director
Pearl Meyer & Partners, LLC.

Linda Whitlock


April 1819, 2024

Phyllis R. Yale, MBA


April 1819, 2024
Advisory Partner
Bain & Company, Inc.


April 18 – 19, 2024

All Times are Eastern Time (ET).

Wednesday, April 17, 2024
5:30–6:45 pm Pascal Virtual Introduction & Alumnae Panel
Thursday, April 18, 2024
7:30–8:00 am Check-In and Continental Breakfast
8:00–8:30 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
10:45–11:15 am Refreshment Break
11:15 am–12:30 pm Boland What Do You Need to Know? Legal & Regulatory Responsibilities
12:30–1:00 pm Lunch
1:00–1:45 pm Whitlock Voice from the Governance Front Line: Challenges of Making Boards Work Well
1:45–2:45 pm Norris The Board Recruitment Process: How Does It Really Work?
2:45–3:00 pm Refreshment Break
3:00–4:15 pm Van Putten What Do You Need to Know? Executive and Director Compensation
4:15–4:30 pm Refreshment Break
4:30–5:30 pm Zane, Pirzada, Simon, Iselin CEO Panel: Selecting New Board Members to Enhance Board Effectiveness
5:30–5:45 pm Zane, Pascal Reflections on the Roadmap: Your Considerations Along the Way
5:45–6:30 pm Travel to Harvard Faculty Club
6:30–7:15 pm Program Reception
7:15–8:45 pm Goldberg Dinner & Speaker
Friday, April 19, 2024
7:30–8:00 am Continental Breakfast
8:00–10:00 am Zane, Pascal, LaPierre Positioning for Directorships: A Workshop on Presenting Yourself
10:00–10:30 am Refreshment Break
10:30–11:30 am Minehan For-profit & Non-profit Boards: Similarities, Differences, and Keys to Success
11:30 am–12:30 pm Spring Communicating with Stakeholders, Shareholders, and Communities: What Directors Need to Know
12:30–1:00 pm Lunch
1:00–2:00 pm Davis Voice from the Governance Front Line - Making the Transition to Being a Board Member
2:00–3:30 pm Zane, Puhy, Lenehan, Yale Governance Challenges Panel: Real Women, Real Experiences
3:30–3:45 pm Pascal, Zane Program Closure

This agenda is subject to change.

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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.