Kai Johnson Krannert alumna Kai Johnson, HR program manager at Salesforce, offers career advice to Women in Management students in a 2015 visit. The center was endowed and renamed in honor of alumna Jane Brock-Wilson in spring 2016, and former Eli Lilly and Co. executive Candice Lange joined the center in July as director. (Photo by Charles Jischke)

Workforce Diversity

New initiatives and leadership energize the Women in Management Center

A Purdue alumna and former Eli Lilly and Co. executive has brought her leadership development and consulting expertise to the Krannert School as new director of the Jane Brock-Wilson Women in Management Center.

Candice Lange joined Krannert in July. “Our vision is to be the preeminent center of excellence — influencing research, business practice and policy on issues concerning the advancement of women in the global workforce,” Lange says.

“We want to encourage collaboration among business leaders and academic research experts to find new strategies and solutions, and make these strategies available to our Krannert students and to the business community. And we invite our alumni — both women and men — to partner with us in this important work.”

The Jane Brock-Wilson Women in Management Center was officially launched on Sept. 9 with an event focusing on the advancement of women in science and management.

The center is named after Purdue graduate and Lafayette native Jane Brock-Wilson, managing director of Berkshire Partners. The longtime University supporter provided a $1 million gift to provide undergraduate scholarships for women enrolled in the School of Management. The Purdue Research Foundation matched her donation with an additional $1.5 million.

The center has three objectives:

• To prepare students to lead the increasingly diverse 21st century workforce.

• To support the growth and advancement of women from pre-college throughout their careers.

• To influence thought and behavior in business settings through communication of strategies based on gender-related research.

The center reflects the growth and evolution of the Women in Management initiative, which began in 2013 when a group of dedicated alumni, faculty, staff, students and corporate leaders gathered to address issues and promote success for women at Krannert. Under the leadership of director Joy Dietz, programs were developed to expand options for women’s business education. Among these are:

• Management 390: Now in its fourth year at Krannert, the Women in Management undergraduate course helps students identify their strengths, set goals, learn about career and life choices, develop professional presence and practice effective communication.

• The Human Library: This annual event brings together people from diverse cultures and backgrounds for enriching conversations with the University community.

• InnovateHER: Krannert participated as a site in this competition of entrepreneurs sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration. One of the site winners was chosen as a national finalist in this contest highlighting innovative products and services designed to empower women and families.

“I am thrilled to return to Purdue to advance the important work of the center,” Lange says. “The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of future generations of women is both motivating and inspiring.”