Wharton Women's Summit 2016

This year's Wharton Women's Summit celebrated all of the Lady Bosses out there by providing a unique opportunity for business students, alumnae and professionals to engage with distinguished speakers from a wide variety of industries and professions.

I enjoyed very much the opportunity to return to Wharton again for this year’s Wharton Women’s Summit. I’m always amazed how these young women -- incredibly busy MBA students -- find spare time to put together such a beautiful, impactful, high-quality conference. The irony of the venue was not lost on the 500+ women in attendance -- Wharton MBA students, Wharton alumnae, women at high levels in industry, and friends of Wharton. The Union League, a bastion of male power and exclusivity until just 30 years ago, was splendidly turned out for the event.

Keiko Honda, CEO of World Bank MIGA speaks at the Wharton Women's Summit. Keiko Honda, CEO of World Bank MIGA speaks at the Wharton Women's Summit.

Honored to be a panelist for “Everything Is Negotiable”, led by Wharton Lecturer Mori Taheripour, I had the opportunity to both share my knowledge and gain new perspectives from fellow panelists. Who would have guessed that Negotiations has become one of the most demanded classes in the MBA curriculum? Even more surprising was the strong emphasis on entrepreneurship that pervaded the conference and has become such a strong theme on campus.

The pitches of 16 start-up competitors throughout the day were mind-blowing, with the day’s winner innovating in none other than speeding up the fermentation of beer! Congratulations also to Nidhi Satya, founder of RevoLootion, who was voted the “People’s Choice” winner. It was obvious that Nidhi had done her homework in her quest to bring composting toilets to the households of India’s masses. She’ll be receiving a custom dress and jacket ensemble, complements of entreDonovan, which she’ll surely get some use out of as she begins to pitch angels and VCs.

Woven throughout the seriousness of the day was a spirit of humor, camaraderie, and mutual respect that most people wouldn’t expect from a school of this intensity. It was an honor to participate. Bravo, ladies! Carry on…Like a Woman.  --LF