March 2023 • Edition 19
In recognition of Women’s History Month, this edition of Wharton Impact highlights a history-making female graduate; profiles a tech innovator’s efforts to empower future leaders through a new MBA fellowship; and examines how women in data science are moving away from being underrepresented to thriving in leadership roles.
Celebrating a Pioneer: Wharton’s First Female
Alma Ledig, ED’1926, WG’1931, blazed a trail for women at Wharton nearly 90 years before Dean Erika James became the first woman to lead the School. A published author, commander in the U.S. Navy, and innovative teacher, Ledig prefigured the Wharton of today.
Creating Transformation Through Courage, Empathy, and Inclusion
Kate Johnson, WG’94, former president of Microsoft U.S. and now president and CEO of Lumen Technologies, has established a fellowship to empower MBA students to become better leaders. Johnson’s Empathy in Action Fellowship Fund provides financial support to full-time MBA students at Wharton who are advancing diversity and inclusion within their careers and their communities.
Johnson’s goal for the fellowship is to develop leadership skills that drive change through courage, empathy, and inclusion, the need for which were awakened by both the global pandemic and the concurrent widespread protests that demanded solutions for longstanding social injustices.
WiDS Conference Shines Light on Advances for Women in Data Science
The Wharton School and Penn Engineering hosted the fourth annual Women in Data Science (WiDS) @ Penn Conference. For the first time since the pandemic, attendees were back on campus for in-person talks showcasing the latest advances in data science, speaker Q&A sessions, and networking opportunities.