Today, on International Women’s Day, we’re excited to celebrate the incredible achievements of countless women in the Wharton community. From faculty to students to alumnae, this year women at Wharton are breaking ground — and glass ceilings — in many ways. In fact, the MBA Class of 2021 includes the highest number of women to date at 46 percent. 

Here are more stories featuring the work of women at Wharton and how they lift other women up as they climb.

Women in Leadership

First row, left to right: Diana C. Roberston and Nancy Zhang; Back row, left to right: Martine Haas and Rachel Werner

In 2019, four women were named to prominent leadership positions at the Wharton School: Diana C. Roberston, vice dean of Wharton’s undergraduate division, Nancy Zhang, vice dean of the Wharton doctoral programs, Martine Haas, director of the Joseph H. Lauder Institute, and Rachel Werner, executive director of the Leonard Davis Institute.

The story: View From the Top, A new year brings new leadership at Wharton—and it’s female-driven.

In Other News

Erika James

2020 is shaping up to be another groundbreaking year in Wharton’s history. On February 26, Erika H. James was named the next dean of the Wharton School, effective July 1. She will be the first woman and first African American to ever serve in this position.

The story: Erika H. James named dean of Penn’s Wharton School


Women Fighting Against Sexual Harassment

Kellee Kim

There is no doubt that the #MeToo movement has shaken and shaped communities all over the world, and one Wharton alumna has been a part of that change on television. Millions of viewers watched Kellee Kim, WG’19, confront a fellow contestant about unwanted physical contact on Season 39 of Survivor. Her actions sparked a national conversation and prompted CBS to make substantial policy changes.

The story: ‘Survivor’ Contestant Kellee Kim WG19 Addresses Controversy

Also Check Out

Julia Taylor Kennedy

On an episode of Women@Work, Julia Taylor Kennedy, executive vice president at the Center for Talent Innovation, talks about protecting employees from harassment in the workplace. The Women@Work podcast is hosted by Laura Zarrow, executive director of Wharton People Analytics, and focuses on how women join, stay, succeed, and lead in business.

The episode: What #MeToo Means for Corporate America with Julia Taylor Kennedy


Women at Work

Prof. Katherine Klein

Prof. Katherine Klein, vice-dean of Wharton Social Impact Initiative (WSII), and Shoshana Schwartz, a WSII doctoral student, did research about what really makes an employer good for women. They developed an actionable “Four for Women” framework for companies to follow.

The story: New Wharton Research Defines What Makes Companies Good Employers for Women

Also Check Out

The gender wage gap is, of course, another pressing issue for women who work. Scott Turney, the CEO of, recently joined Wharton Business Daily to talk about how implementing pay transparency policies has the potential to close the wage gap in workspaces across the country.

The story: Does Pay Transparency Help Close the Gender Wage Gap?

Women in Sports

Stephanie McCaffrey

After leaving professional soccer, Stephanie McCaffrey, WG’21, founded Hidden Gems Soccer, a nonprofit that provides the opportunity for under-represented and low-income girls to be coached by professional soccer athletes. Stephanie is currently pursuing her MBA at Wharton and plans to expand her business to many more cities.

The story: Stephanie McCaffrey: Finding Herself Again After Soccer

Women in Tech

Jess Loeb

Wharton women have recently been spearheading advancements in the traditionally male-dominated world of technology. Jess Loeb, WG’20, is a principal software engineer at PlayStation and an MBA student at Wharton. She’s focused on advocating more effectively for other women in her industry.

The story: How This Software Engineer Is Taking Her Advocacy Work for Women to the Next Level

Also Check Out

Jessica Pugh

Jessica Pugh, WG’19, is another MBA alumna who’s advocating for greater inclusion in tech. Now at Google, she works on global strategy, while trying to make space for underrepresented minorities.

The story: Jessica Pugh is Pushing for Diversity and Inclusion in the Tech Industry


Women Building Community

Kiersa Sanders

Kiersa Sanders, WG’20, found her place in Wharton’s African American MBA Association (AAMBAA) on campus, where she met her current business partner, fellow MBA candidate Theresa Shropshire, WG’20. Together, they created a startup called Builtable for women interested in fitness and strength training.

The story: Kiersa Sanders: Beating the Odds and Finding Community

— Linda Zou

Posted: March 8, 2020

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