Deloitte Establishes National Chair to Advance Women as Leaders

Deloitte & Touche USA LLP has joined forces with the nation’s only business school designed for women to establish an endowed chair devoted to the advancement of women as leaders. The first Deloitte Ellen Gabriel Chair for Women and Leadership at Simmons School of Management in Boston is Deborah Kolb.

The Deloitte Ellen Gabriel Chair for Women and Leadership is designed to help shape the national discourse on women and leadership by studying and recommending strategies for advancing women into leadership roles in all sectors of business and government. Chair holders will carry out applied research on women and leadership, and serve as active spokespersons informing and shaping the national debate on the best strategies for advancing women in leadership roles in business and government.

Deborah Kolb is a professor at Simmons School of Management and an international expert on gender issues in negotiation and other forms of conflict management. She is author of five books, including “The Shadow Negotiation,” which Harvard Business Review recognized as one of the 10 best business books in 2000. She is also a senior fellow at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Kolb co-founded the Center for Gender in Organizations at the Simmons School of Management along with the late Ellen Gabriel for whom the chair is named.

Gabriel and Kolb also worked together on the Women’s Initiative developing the “Leading Edge” executive education program for Deloitte women partners and directors run by Simmons School of Management. The program has been highly effective. Deloitte has the highest percentage of women partners, principals and directors of all the Big Four firms according to the “Public Accounting Report’s 2004 Annual Survey on Women in Public Accounting.”

The Deloitte chair is named after the late Ellen Gabriel, the first national director of Deloitte’s highly praised Initiative for the Retention and Advancement of Women. The Initiative revolutionized the industry and helped strengthen Deloitte’s competitive edge by retaining and promoting talented women.

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