Group Names IBM, Zeemote, Infinity, Wolfe Executives as Leading Women Entrepreneurs

A study last year by Cristian Dezsö, an assistant professor at the University of Maryland’s business school, found that the more women a company has as senior managers, the better it performs financially—and that the advantage comes from a “female management style” that emphasizes teamwork, collaboration, and innovation.

To highlight women executives in Massachusetts who are leading their own companies to success, the Boston-based nonprofit group Women Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology (WEST) announced the winners of its second annual Leadership Awards today. Gwen Acton, WEST’s president, said in a statement that the award winners “exemplify Massachusetts’s innovative vitality in the technology and life science industries—qualities that contribute to the on-going launch of new ventures and new products.”

The four awardees are:

Beth Friday, vice president of worldwide client support, IBM. Friday oversees technical support and product quality for IBM Rational Software and was one of the IBM managers overseeing the consolidation of the company’s software operations in Littleton, MA. Friday is also executive sponsor of the IBM New England Women’s Network. (There’s an interview and podcast featuring Friday here).

Beth Marcus, founder and chief technical officer, Zeemote, a Chelmsford, MA-based startup that makes wireless controllers for games on mobile platforms such as cell phones and portable game pads. Marcus holds more than a dozen patents, is a former faculty member at MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, and has founded four startups, including one, EXOS Inc., that was purchased by Microsoft in 1996.

Adelene Perkins, president and chief business officer, Infinity Pharmaceuticals, a developer of cancer drugs based in Cambridge, MA. Perkins is former vice president of business and corporate development at TransForm Pharmaceuticals, former vice president of emerging business at Genetics Institute, former CEO of MetaMorphix, and former healthcare strategy consultant at Bain & Company.

Janet Wolfe, president and founder of Wolfe Laboratories, a contract drug development lab in Watertown, MA. Wolfe is a former faculty member in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Memphis. She serves on the advisory board of United Way’s Math, Science & Technology Initiative, and was named Boston’s 2008 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

WEST is spotlighting these four winners “so that others might be inspired and gain the benefit of their experiences,” said Sandra Glucksmann, chair of WEST’s s board of Directors and senior vice president of research and business operations Cerulean Pharma, in today’s announcement. “Their achievements and stories are a ‘how to’ for other women and their companies to be successful.”

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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