This March, Wharton is celebrating International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month by looking back at the far-reaching waves women in the Wharton community have made in the past year.

Here’s how we #ChooseToChallenge:

Challenging the Status Quo

The Four of a Kind podcast was born when WEMBA students Lauren Pencek, Michelle Chia, Kelcy Walsh, and Grace Uminga (all WG’18) realized they shared a common passion for empowering women to become entrepreneurs and take bigger jobs. On the show, they talk about their own career experiences and invite founders, investors, and business leaders to share theirs as well. Read their story »

Investing in Rockstars

At the WOCstar Fund, General Partners Gayle Jennings O’Byrne, W’91, and Pialy Aditya are boosting tech startups owned by women of color, a category that has been undercapitalized for decades. Their motto: “Leave no woman behind.”

Taking On New Ventures


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Wilglory Tanjong and Azline Nelson (both G’22, WG’22) became the first Black women to win the Lauder Institute’s Jacobson Global Venture Award this January. They are using their $10K in funding to scale ANIMA IRIS, a handbag brand that celebrates African craftsmanship, empowers Black women, and aims to redefine luxury fashion through eco-friendly manufacturing. Read their story »


Co-founded by Isoken Igbinedion, WG’21, Hairtelligence was a finalist and “Crowd Favorite” at the 2021 New Venture Competition. The startup is on a mission to revolutionize the customizable hair industry, utilizing smartphone cameras to help Black women find their perfect hairstyle.

Boosting the Numbers

Penn and Wharton hosted the second annual “Women in Data Science @ Penn Conference” in February 2021, featuring a plethora of academic and industry leaders. This year’s theme — This is What a Data Scientist Looks Like — emphasized the depth, breadth, and diversity of data science, both in subject matter and personnel. Read the story »

Project Sage 3.0

Gender lens investing — a focus which generates financial returns and a positive impact on women — grew dramatically in 2019, according to a report by Wharton Social Impact Initiative and consulting firm Catalyst at Large.

Leading Through Crisis

Wharton is proud to celebrate a year with Dean Erika James, the first woman and first person of color to be dean in our School’s history. In a reflection of her first 90 days at Wharton, Dean James discusses the leadership lessons she’s put to the test during a turbulent 2020. Read her story »

The Power in Our Paths

The 22nd Annual Wharton Women’s Summit examined the role of women during COVID-19 — how it has impacted women disproportionately at home and at work, even while women-led countries have recovered from the pandemic more effectively than others.


— Erin Lomboy and Gloria Yuen

Posted: March 5, 2021

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