Katherine Giscombe

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Ph.D. Senior Director, Research, Catalyst, New York City

Katherine Giscombe is determined to live by her mantra, “The good you do today may be quickly forgotten, but the impact of what you do will never disappear.” It was this mantra that made her change careers—from supporting marketing and new product development at Fortune 500 companies to more socially oriented work–so that she was “no longer just affecting the bottom line at companies,” she says, but impacting people on a personal level. Now, as senior research director at Catalyst, a leading research organization devoted to expanding job opportunities for women, Giscombe oversees information–gathering projects whose results she uses to help clients achieve effective organizational change. She gives numerous interviews and presentations about her research on issues that affect women in the workplace.

Giscombe holds a doctorate in organizational psychology from the University of Michigan and has published several books and articles. She is a frequent presenter at corporate and academic conferences, speaking on a range of topics, including mentoring, glass-ceiling issues and growth and development strategies for women business owners. She also has taught at the University of Michigan and at Hunter College in New York City. Still, she finds time to volunteer for the Media Watch Committee of the National Association of Black Journalists, helping to produce a monthly news
program that examines the way issues affecting the Black community are covered in the media.

Giscombe was raised in a family of high achievers. Both of her parents had advanced college degrees. They created a nurturing environment at home, which helped her become an individual “who questions conventional assumptions,” she says, and instilled in her the belief that she should perform every task to the best of her ability. That belief extends even to her hobbies. For example, she did so well in writing workshops that she was a finalist in several essay competitions. And, not content simply to visit the gym, she has attended fitness conventions and is even considering becoming a part-time fitness instructor. As she says, she intends to make an impact wherever she goes.

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