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Ilene H. Lang
Ilene H. Lang is the President & Chief Executive Officer of Catalyst, the leading research and advisory organization working with businesses and the professions to build inclusive workplaces and expand opportunities for women and business. She was appointed President in August 2003 and named Chief Executive Officer in September 2008.

Ms. Lang brings energy and corporate savvy to the advancement of women in every sector of the global marketplace. Her expertise on the advancement of women in corporations and professional firms, corporate boards and governance, workforce demographic trends, the business case for women’s career development, innovative strategies for retaining and advancing women, and work-life effectiveness is often called upon by the media, member companies and firms, and other organizations. She regularly addresses national and international groups of senior leaders in a variety of business, academic, and public policy venues.

Having broken barriers in her own career, Ms. Lang is broadly recognized as a pioneering female high-tech/Internet executive. She was the founding CEO of AltaVista Internet Software Inc., a subsidiary of Digital Equipment Corporation. Prior to that work, Ms. Lang was Senior Vice President of the Desktop Business Group at Lotus Development Corporation, responsible for a $500 million business. She has also advised CEOs and entrepreneurs as a board member, coach, and investor in women-led technology companies.

Ms. Lang currently serves on the Board of Directors of Art Technology Group, Inc., an enterprise software company. She was named to the Global Agenda Council on the gender gap at the World Economic Forum, and she is a member of the National Board Development Committee of the Girl Scouts of the USA. She has served on numerous other corporate, private, and nonprofit boards in the past.

Ms. Lang earned an A.B. degree in history and literature from Radcliffe College and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. She is married and the mother of three adult children.

Blog Entries by Ilene H. Lang

Reflecting on Augusta

0 Comments | Posted April 11, 2012 | 11:58 AM

The Masters Tournament is over, but Augusta National Golf Club's male-only membership policy remains.

As an institution, Augusta is well within its rights to discriminate against women. But as a club, Augusta is more than an institution -- it's a membership organization, and its policies reflect the views and values...

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Mentors vs. Sponsors and the Ambition Gap Myth

0 Comments | Posted January 9, 2012 | 4:41 PM

Do women lack ambition? Not on your life.

Women want to succeed, yet even when they do "all the right things" Catalyst has found that they earn less and progress more slowly than men. The fact that some women adjust their career advancement strategies after crashing into institutional barriers is...

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Act Now

0 Comments | Posted December 15, 2011 | 1:39 PM

Change has flatlined -- women are no further toward achieving top ranks in business than they were last year, or even six years ago. Yet equality can't wait.

Our latest census of women atop the Fortune 500 shows continued stagnation. Men hold a staggering 83.9% of corporate board seats,...

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Women Ask, But Men Don't Have To

0 Comments | Posted October 13, 2011 | 4:14 PM

We've all heard the maxim that "women don't ask." This view is so prevalent that an entire cottage industry has sprung up to address it. The problem is that it's simply untrue.

Our new report, The Myth of the Ideal Worker, the latest in our series on high-potential...

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The Root

0 Comments | Posted July 28, 2011 | 7:18 PM

Let's talk about sexism.

Now I know the word "sexism" carries baggage. But no matter what you call it -- gender bias, systemic inequity, inequality or discrimination -- the belief that a woman is not as capable as a man simply because she is a woman is at the root...

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Working While Transgender: An Occupational Hazard?

0 Comments | Posted June 27, 2011 | 5:21 PM

As a group within the LGBT community, transgender women face unique barriers, and they're part of a group that's typically left out of the conversation. But only by discussing -- and exposing -- the stereotypes that transgender women face, can we educate and mitigate the barriers.

Some people consider transgender...

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Check the Chart

0 Comments | Posted May 17, 2011 | 5:14 PM

Commencement addresses are often peppered with inspiring quotes, stories of perseverance, and warm anecdotes intended to uplift and inspire the next generation. But in a recent piece for the Washington Post geared for college grads, I opted to get straight to the point about the challenges ahead. The fact...

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It Starts With You

0 Comments | Posted April 28, 2011 | 9:01 AM

A 2010 New York Times headline posed the question: "Why take our children to work?"

Amid criticism of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day's purpose and a decline in participation among some school districts, many parents have no doubt asked themselves the same...

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0 Comments | Posted February 17, 2011 | 9:45 AM

You can't be what you can't see.

That's the takeaway message of a new documentary, Miss Representation, which premiered on Saturday in New York City. Featuring interviews with an array of female leaders--including Condoleezza Rice, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, and Jane Fonda, among others--the film explores how one-dimensional, hypersexualized...

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Let Them Jump

0 Comments | Posted January 20, 2011 | 10:02 PM

Women can't jump?

The International Olympic Committee said it "needs more time" to decide the fate of women's ski jumping in the 2014 Winter Games. The committee met late last year to discuss, among other issues, possible inclusion of the high-flying sport banned in years past.

You read that...

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Climbing the Ropes to Get Ahead

0 Comments | Posted December 13, 2010 | 3:45 PM

This just in: the latest Catalyst research highlights deep challenges -- and potential solutions -- for women seeking to climb the corporate ladder.

For the fifth year in a row, our Census of women leaders in the Fortune 500 showed that women are stuck. Women hold only 14.4% of...

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Fair Pay Now, Not in 2058

0 Comments | Posted November 11, 2010 | 12:56 PM

UPDATE: Disappointing news: the Paycheck Fairness Act stalled on Capitol Hill. Below is our official statement:

Catalyst's Statement on Blockage of Paycheck Fairness Act in US Senate

A crucial bill targeting the gender pay gap in the United States was blocked today as too few senators...

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Expose the Double Bind

0 Comments | Posted November 5, 2010 | 4:23 PM

The number of women in Congress has gone down in 2010 for the first time in 30 years despite a record number of women who ran for the House and Senate. Gender stereotyping is behind the decline.

"It's always been tougher for women to get elected in a...

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The Motherhood Debate Trap

0 Comments | Posted November 1, 2010 | 1:07 PM

I'm a mother, but being a mom doesn't mean I have some magical skills non-mothers lack. Yet the "motherhood debate" rages on--especially during the election cycle.

"I think my experience is one of the things that sets me apart as a candidate for Governor. First of all, being a mother,...

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Be Afraid, Very Afraid

0 Comments | Posted October 29, 2010 | 11:16 AM

I was never a fan of scary movies because there are enough real scary things already out there! Below is a list of the top ten things that my colleagues and I are scared about this Halloween. Freddy Krueger's got nothing on these.

The Catalyst Top Ten Halloween Fears:


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Context Is King

0 Comments | Posted September 14, 2010 | 2:37 PM

Here we go again. Sometimes news -- even good news -- gets blown out of proportion. That's what's happening now with the gender wage gap.

Recent headlines like "What gender pay gap? Young single women making MORE money than their male peers in America's cities," and

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Do Kids Kill Careers?

0 Comments | Posted August 10, 2010 | 3:43 PM

Last week, The New York Times' David Leonhardt claimed that women who didn't have children and never took time off had careers that "resembled" those of men. The next day, The Atlantic's Daniel Indiviglio argued "women without children are holding their own against men."

Both articles...

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Tackle Inequity --Take Your Children to Work

0 Comments | Posted April 22, 2010 | 10:28 AM

Eighteen years ago, only days before the first annual Take Our Daughters to Work Day, the Ms. Foundation for Women received a call from a New York City high school teacher.

The teacher said she had lined up an internship for one of her bright female students in a...

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Tackle Inequity -- Take Your Children to Work

0 Comments | Posted April 22, 2010 | 10:28 AM

Eighteen years ago, only days before the first annual Take Our Daughters to Work Day, the Ms. Foundation for Women received a call from a New York City high school teacher.

The teacher said she had lined up an internship for one of her bright female students in a...

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Workplace Inequity Still Starts from Day One

0 Comments | Posted February 17, 2010 | 4:11 PM

In 1962, the faculty at Harvard Business School voted to accept women -- eight were admitted the next year. I was among 33 women out of a class of 800 in 1973. As graduation loomed that year, an on-campus recruiter talked to several of my male classmates about a well-paid...

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