Women at Wharton

Author: Amanda D’Amico

Today is the second day of the Wharton Women in Business Alumnae Conference. This third annual conference focuses on “Case Studies in Women Leadership” and features Wharton professors and prominent alumnae.

Women’s history at Wharton is interesting.  It wasn’t too long ago that women weren’t welcome at Wharton.  It wasn’t until 1954 that women were admitted to the best business school in the world, making it the last school at the University of Pennsylvania to do so.  Although female faculty members were at Wharton since 1921, a female professor wasn’t selected as a chairperson of Wharton department until 1977. Even after this, the female infiltration of Wharton was slow.

But times have changed. Today, 40 percent of Wharton single-degree undergraduates and 45 percent of Wharton full-time MBAs are women.  Women are part of every cohort and major at Wharton.  Women support the School as prominent faculty members and senior members of the administration.

And there are a number of resources for female Wharton students and alumnae.  Wharton Women  is an undergraduate organization, which seeks, “to facilitate the personal and career development of females in business by building a network of exceptional undergraduates, professionals, and faculty.”  Similarly named, Wharton Women in Business is a graduate organization that “strives to increase career, mentoring and networking opportunities for all women at Wharton. […] The organization initiatives efforts in admissions, alumnae outreach, professional and personal development, recruiting and community service.”  These two groups help to shape the Wharton female experience.  Their role is invaluable, as Wharton comes closer to reaching equal numbers of men and women in its classes.

If you are interested in learning more about women at Wharton and Penn, please visit this site.


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