Lorraine Hariton Catalyst for Change

Lorraine Hariton A Catalyst for Change

“The world is changing and rapidly but sometimes old patterns are hard to change,” so says Lorraine Hariton the new CEO of Catalyst.org on the latest podcast from Women In Leadership.

As an organisation Catalyst is working to change the culture and environment in workplaces – to make them places that work for women, as well as men. Catalyst has some heavy hitters on their side too such as Michael Dell. “It starts at the top in organisations,” Lorraine believes. “Mark Benioff at Salesforce implemented pay equity across the whole company, he is an excellent role model and the culture at Salesforce is excellent.”

Lorraine believes that new skills needs will be ideally suited to women’s skills but says that corporations will have to work with schools to encourage more women to go into STEM training and professions at an early age.

“With the shift to data analytics, there is a new opportunity to change that cultural issue. Women are often very good at data analytics and it ties in more to every aspect of society. We need to go into the schools and educate the girls around that and we need to be partnered with corporations that can lead the way,” Lorraine says.

“The job requirements in the future have to be more 21st Century in the STEM area and include creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking. These are things beyond whether you are a great python coder.  If you can’t be agile, communicate, evolve you are not going to have a job 20 years from now.”

The Gift Of Dyslexia

When Lorraine was a child she was diagnosed with dyslexia and she still has it, but says that has never got in the way of success for her. She was always good at organising and mathematical skills and her maths teacher advised her to take computer science class, which she did and she learned to programme and loved it. She never looked back. She went to Stanford and got a degree in Math Sciences, Statistics and Operations Research.

Lorraine then worked for American Airlines in their operations research department where she did a fuel allocation model. Lorraine then worked for IBM in their sales organisation and says it was a great place to work for women and that she was a beneficiary of their progressive practices. They have been a four time award winner for Catalyst and now have a woman CEO. Lorraine took time out to go to Harvard Business School and went back to IBM because she knew she could work there in a way that balanced her life. A formula she recommends if you can find a company that is progressive enough

Lorraine Hariton CEO Catalyst

Lorraine Hariton CEO Catalyst

Lorraine Hariton’s Top Three tips for Women in Leadership

  1. Go to organisations where the culture is inclusive and find one with good role models.
  2. You can do it all, but not at the same time. Take your time you will expand your network over the course of your career.
  3. Major on your majors. Understand what you are good at and what you can bring to the table.

To listen to the podcast click on the link.

Women In Leadership podcast is presented and produced by Angie Mezzetti

Angela Mezzetti
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