Dr. Sherylle Tan Becomes 2016 Chair of ILA’s Women and Leadership Affinity Group
By CJ Novogradac ‘19
Dr. Sherylle Tan, the Interim Director and Director of Internships and KLI Research at the Kravis Leadership Institute (KLI), becomes Chair of the International Leadership Association (ILA) Women and Leadership Affinity Group (WLAG) in 2014 and in January 2016 becomes the Chair.
ILA has various community groups within the association centered on various interests in the area of leadership. One such group is the Women and Leadership Affinity Group (WLAG). Dr. Tan described this group as a “community of individuals interested in advancing women in leadership.” In particular, the group supports research that examines the issues women face. The group also helps provide resources and information to develop women’s leadership skills in order for them to move into leadership and strengthen their leadership ability and potential.
Dr. Tan is finishing up her year as Chair-elect and will begin her year as the Chair in 2016. Dr. Tan noted that being Chair-elect and serving on the board for several years has provided the necessary experience and preparation needed to assume the responsibilities of Chair.
As incoming Chair, Dr. Tan is “excited about sustaining growth and … mak[ing] sure the work we have done in the past continues and that we build upon our growth.” In the short term Dr. Tan is excited to start working with different committees to reinforce and clarify goals for the future, including succession planning. Dr. Tan believes that her work with WLAG will significantly benefit KLI and Claremont McKenna College (CMC). In particular, CMC’s Women and Leadership Alliance (WLA) has similar goals to ILA’s Women and Leadership Affinity Group. Dr. Tan noted, “the knowledge I gain from this association [with ILA] aligns very closely with the issues of WLA … I think there are benefits.”
When asked about women’s current status in the workplace Dr. Tan noted, “We used to talk about the glass ceiling… but not anymore. It’s not about how women pursue their careers in leadership, it is now more a series of starts and restarts, almost a labyrinth. Women have to go about getting to leadership positions in different ways.” Dr. Tan believes that the conversation is no longer whether or not women should hold leadership positions, but rather how do we educate them, support them, and encourage them in order to best position women for leadership roles. “We want to answer the question: how can the Women Leadership and Affinity Group best support women to navigate and capitalize on the opportunities that are presented to them?”
Overall, Dr. Tan is excited and ready to get started in a position that gives her the ability to create a supportive community, outside of the workplace, for women to network and grow as leaders.