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National Chair To Advance Women as Leaders Established by Simmons School of Management and Deloitte

BOSTON (July 1, 2005) — The nation's only business school designed for women has joined forces with an international professional services firm with a reputation for helping women move into leadership positions, to establish an endowed chair devoted to the advancement of women as leaders.

Deloitte & Touche USA LLP, one of the nation's leading professional services firm, and the Simmons School of Management in Boston have established the Deloitte Ellen Gabriel Chair for Women and Leadership, 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.

The first Deloitte chair is Deborah Kolb, professor at the Simmons School of Management and an international expert on gender issues in negotiation and other forms of conflict management. Kolb is author of five books, including "The Shadow Negotiation", which was cited as one of the 10 best business books by Harvard Business Review in 2000.

Kolb was co-founder of the Center for Gender in Organizations at the Simmons School of Management and is a senior fellow at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

The chair enables Kolb and subsequent chair holders to carry out applied research on women and leadership, and serve as an active spokesperson informing and shaping national debate on the best strategies for advancing women in leadership roles in business and government.

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.

The Women's Initiative, which Kolb and Gabriel worked on together, resulted in the development of the highly effective "Leading Edge" executive education program for Deloitte women partners and directors run by the Simmons School of Management. For the seventh year in a row, Deloitte leads the Big Four professional services firms with the highest percentage of women partners, principals and directors, according to "Public Accounting Report's 2004 Annual Survey on Women in Public Accounting."

While women have advanced rapidly in business, experts note that women in senior leadership roles are still greatly underrepresented: women hold only eight percent of senior leadership positions in corporate America, and twelve percent of corporate board seats.

The Simmons School of Management ( recognized as a leading authority in the field of women, leadership and management. The School has graduated more than 3,000 women from its MBA program and more than 1,500 women from its executive education program for women leaders.