Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2005 (Revised July 2005)

Ilene Lang and the Catalyst Search (A)

by Myra M. Hart and Laura L. Nash


Catalyst, the nonprofit organization dedicated to championing women in professional ranks, is searching for a new president--only the third in its 42-year history. Ilene Lang, a corporate executive and entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in high-tech ventures, considers whether and how to prepare herself to be the top candidate for the position. Challenges students to assess the key factors influencing such a career choice. Consider the fit between this particular candidate and Catalyst, and develop an action plan for successful pursuit of the candidacy. Reviews Lang's professional and personal history, Catalyst's history, and a general review of women in the workplace and in positions of top responsibility since the 1960s (statistics appear in exhibits). Lang's particular history also invites discussion of the role of women in top management, especially hi-tech management, along with work/family choices.

Keywords: Strategy; Nonprofit Organizations; Work-Life Balance; Job Search; Gender; Service Industry;


Hart, Myra M., and Laura L. Nash. "Ilene Lang and the Catalyst Search (A)." Harvard Business School Case 805-074, April 2005. (Revised July 2005.)