Program Experience

Highlights and Key Outcomes

In Women’s Executive Leadership: Business Strategies for Success, you will:

  • Reimagine and advance your leadership skills
  • Develop strategies to design and operate in teams more effectively
  • Enhance your negotiation skills
  • Learn strategies to craft your job in ways that enable growth and meaning in your work
  • Discover concepts that are useful for understanding, analyzing, and harnessing power in organizations
  • Receive practical and quick-to-implement suggestions on how to address a current business challenge you are facing
  • Better understand the nuances of executive presence and storytelling

Gaining New Confidence: Maureen Clancy says this program gave her the confidence to seek a promotion.

Experience & Impact

With a dual focus on clarity and confidence, Women’s Executive Leadership delivers sophisticated business and leadership concepts that have immediate and practical application for today’s women business leaders and their allies, allowing them to improve their leadership capabilities and advance their career. Participants will come away with a better understanding of how to apply contemporary business theories currently driving their organization and results, while creating a personal plan for their own professional advancement.

Wharton faculty, led by Deputy Dean Nancy Rothbard, apply their field-based research and the latest strategic insights to help women leaders and their allies find clarity in their careers while mastering key business acumen skills for which Wharton is renowned: leadership, strategy, management, innovation, and negotiation.

What sets this program for women executives and their allies apart is its strong focus on leadership, combined with a practical approach to developing and honing these strategic skills.

Session topics include:

  • Executive Presence: The Leader as a Storyteller
  • Leveraging Collective Intelligence: The Power of Teaming
  • Power and Politics in Organizations
  • The Adaptable Leader
  • Learning Group Sessions
  • Negotiation Workshop
  • The Changing Global Landscape
  • Job Crafting
  • Leaning In: How Not to Fall Over
  • How Top Women Succeed & Building Effective Networks

Convince Your Supervisor

Here’s a justification letter you can edit and send to your supervisor to help you make the case for attending this Wharton program.

Due to our application review period, applications submitted after 12:00 p.m. ET on Friday for programs beginning the following Monday may not be processed in time to grant admission. Applicants will be contacted by a member of our Client Relations Team to discuss options for future programs and dates.

Learning Group Work

What is Learning Group Work?
The Learning Group Work portion of the Women’s Executive Leadership program is a true highlight of the experience. Ahead of the program, each participant submits a business challenge — this challenge should be something that you are currently working through in your career that would benefit from outside perspectives. Once these business challenges are received, participants are paired with an executive coach who can best address their challenge. In addition, the participants in each group are from different industries, so varied perspectives can be presented.

During the program week, there are dedicated times on days two, three, and four to meet in groups with fellow participants and an executive coach. Each participant is given the opportunity to present their unique challenge, after which the executive coach facilitates a discussion with the other group members about alternative ways to think about the challenge. Participants come away with many ideas they can consider to move their challenge forward as well as a mindset of being open to new ideas. Additionally, participants develop a robust network of peers.

Participants meet with their groups and executive coach again one month after the program concludes to check in on their progress on agreed-upon action plans.

The Impact of Learning Group Work
When attending a professional development program, one always wants to walk away with tangible solutions to business problems — and the Learning-Group Work can help you do just that.

The Learning Group Work sessions will allow you to question your own beliefs and consider the ideas of others. You can look at your challenge in a different way, since you are provided diverse and varied perspectives from your group members and executive coach.

Throughout the sessions, you are discovering how to foster innovation and creativity when it comes to problem solving, and you are also learning coaching skills that you can take back to your own teams — how to listen and ask questions effectively, how to structure group conversations in a productive manner, and more.

Maureen Clancy Vice President, Head of Global Program Leadership, Kura Oncology

Executive Coaches

Each Learning Group is led by an experienced and credentialed executive coach committed to ensuring conversations are both productive and effective. All of the coaches have been with the Women’s Executive Leadership program for at least five years and are long-time members of the Wharton Executive Coaching practice.

Karen Dinunzio

Karen DiNunzio, PhD

Lead Coach

Karen A. DiNunzio is an independent consultant with more than 20 years of experience in leadership and executive development, succession planning, development of high-potential professionals, and career management. Her experience includes acting as a process consultant in creating plans for managerial, individual contributor, and executive development; addressing team and organizational performance issues; facilitating small- and large-group interventions; and delivering a variety of management, business, and interpersonal skill workshops.

DiNunzio specializes in helping companies ensure their future success through the systematic development and career management of highly talented employees at all levels. She has designed long-term leadership development programs involving competency definition and measurement, feedback mechanisms, full-scale developmental planning, and the creation of rotational programs and assignments.

She received a BA in Psychology from the University of Delaware and a PhD from Temple University.

Read more about Karen DiNunzio »

Mary Gross

Mary Gross

Executive Coach

Mary Gross (WG ‘02) is the Director of Career Management Services for the Wharton MBA Program for Executives, charged with developing and delivering a distinct set of career services focused on the unique career needs of mid- to senior-level executives. Gross has held senior human resource roles in various financial organizations including Merrill Lynch and Bank of America and is a founding partner of Human Edge Resources, LLC. Her early career included accounting and senior finance positions at various financial services organizations in New Jersey, Maryland, and Colorado. She is currently a doctoral candidate in Organizational Psychology at Rutgers, earned a Wharton MBA (Executive Program), and has a BS in Accounting from the University of Maryland.

In addition, Gross was co-author of Back in the Game, a research study conducted under the advisement of the Wharton Center for Leadership and Change on the challenges faced by professional women who have stepped out of the workforce for a period of time and attempt to return. Gross also serves on the Board of Directors of Unity Bank in Clinton, NJ. She is married and is busy raising two teenage children.

Lisa Kramer

Lisa Kramer

Executive Coach

Lisa Kramer has more than a dozen years of experience as an executive coach, coach trainer and mentor-coach. Leading with Intention partners with organizations to achieve greater business and personal success by creating a coaching culture throughout the organization. Since transitioning to full time coaching in 2002, Kramer has successfully coached senior leaders and managers from a variety of industries, including health care, higher education, information technology and non-profit organizations. Clients include IKEA North America, VOITH Paper, Jefferson University Hospitals, University of North Texas Health Science Center, University of Pennsylvania, Swagelok Corporation, Cardone Industries and a number of small to mid-size companies throughout North America. She has served as a mentor-coach and coach trainer for hundreds of coaches worldwide. Kramer's passion for coaching emerged from a successful career in clinical social work and social work education.

She was a full-time faculty member at Widener University Center for Social Work Education from 1991-2001. Since 2010, Kramer has served on the faculty of the University of Texas at Dallas Master's Program in Organizational Behavior and Executive Coaching where she teaches, supervises and assesses both internal and external coaches. Kramer has been affiliated with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania since 2006 where she is an executive coach for various executive education programs as well as the Executive MBA and full-time MBA programs. She is also an executive coach with the Penn State University Executive MBA program.

Monica McGrath

Monica McGrath

Executive Coach

Monica McGrath is the former vice dean of Wharton’s Aresty Institute of Executive Education and an adjunct professor. She is a member of the Penn Forum of Faculty Women a community of women scholars, executives, and practitioners at the University of Pennsylvania dedicated to building and advocating for women throughout the Penn and Philadelphia Community. In her tenure at Wharton, McGrath led the design and delivery of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Initiative, the annual Wharton Women’s Alumnae Workshop, and co-created the Wharton MBA Leadership Fellows Program. McGrath has taught throughout the School in leadership courses and extracurricular programs since 1999. In addition to her work at Wharton, McGrath is a leadership development consultant and executive coach. In this work she has been a trusted advisor for many senior leaders both in Fortune 500 corporations and not for profit organizations. She has considerable experience designing and implementing practical and effective leadership development initiatives for high potential teams.

McGrath holds a MEd in adult learning and PhD in education from Temple University with an emphasis in organizational psychology. McGrath has served on the founding board of the Forté Foundation, a consortium of corporations and universities dedicated to increasing the educational opportunities for women MBAs. She was a board member for Philadelphia Outward Bound and currently serving as a mentor for the Women of Tomorrow program and working with high school girls in Philadelphia’s underserved communities. McGrath is an active dragon boat team member, an enthusiastic hiker, a deeply unsatisfied Phillies fan and a proud mother and grandmother.

Ilene Wasserman

Ilene Wasserman, PhD

Executive Coach

Ilene Wasserman has more than 30 years of experience in organizational consulting, strategic planning, change management, leadership development, and executive coaching. As founder and president of ICW Consulting Group, Wasserman helps leaders and teams throughout organizations leverage multiple dimensions of domestic and global diversity by enhancing communication and collaboration. Wasserman has served as an executive coach with senior executives and boards of directors of Fortune 100 companies, socially responsible businesses, health care institutions, and institutions of higher education. In addition to consulting and coaching, Wasserman has taught courses in leadership, organizational consulting, leading diversity, organizational communication, emotional intelligence and cultural competence, and group dynamics at the graduate level. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the Center for Creative Leadership and a fellow of both the Taos Institute and The Lewin Center. She also serves on the boards of the CMM Institute and the Public Dialogue Consortium, and she is a member of NTL.

Read more about Ilene Wasserman »

Who Should Attend

Women’s Executive Leadership: Business Strategies for Success is best suited for executives and high-potential women who are transitioning into senior management roles within a large corporation or women entrepreneurs and their allies who are taking on a broader leadership role as their company grows.

The program is designed for women executives and their allies who:

  • Have 10 or more years of experience
  • Have titles ranging from manager or director to vice president, as well as consultants and business owners
  • Work in a wide range of industries
  • Aspire to more senior levels of management
  • Seek to enhance their professional influence

Participants leave the program with an expanded peer network, plus specific tools and frameworks they can use to enhance their leadership impact within their organization.

While the program is designed for women executives (and will be most beneficial to those who identify as such), the program is open to all executives who otherwise fulfill the admissions criteria. Please find the University of Pennsylvania’s Nondiscrimination Statement here.

Fluency in English, written and spoken, is required for participation in Wharton Executive Education programs unless otherwise indicated.

Participant Profile

Participants by Industry

Women’s Executive Leadership participants by industry

Participants by Job Function

Women’s Executive Leadership participants by job function

Participants by Region

Women’s Executive Leadership participants by region

Plan your stay in Philadelphia

Plan Your Stay

This program is held at the Steinberg Conference Center located on the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia. Meals and accommodations are included in the program fees. Learn more about planning your stay at Wharton’s Philadelphia campus.

Group Enrollment

To further leverage the value and impact of this program, we encourage companies to send cross-functional teams of executives to Wharton. We offer group-enrollment benefits to companies sending four or more participants.


Nancy Rothbard

Nancy Rothbard, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Academic Director

Deputy Dean; David Pottruck Professor; Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Emotion and identity, work motivation and engagement, work-life and career development

Quinn Bauriedel

Quinn BauriedelSee Faculty Bio

Speaker, Pig Iron Theatre Company

Karen Dinunzio

Karen DiNunzio, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Principal, Karen DiNunzio PhD LLC

Exequiel Hernandez

Exequiel Hernandez, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Max and Bernice Garchik Family Presidential Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Immigration, global networks, firm internationalization, innovation, corporate strategy

Erika James

Erika James, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Dean; Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise; Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Ingrid Nembhard

Ingrid Nembhard, PhD, MSSee Faculty Bio

Fishman Family President's Distinguished Professor; Professor of Management; Professor of Health Care Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Organizational behavior, organizational learning, teamwork and coordination, implementation, quality improvement

Samir Nurmohamed

Samir Nurmohamed, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Associate Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Adversity, motivation, behavioral ethics, resilience, storytelling, punishment, whistleblowing, cover-ups, socialization, onboarding, injustice, stereotypes, stigma

Amy Wrzesniewski

Amy Wrzesniewski, PhDSee Faculty Bio

William and Jacalyn Egan Professor; Professor of Management, The Wharton School

Research Interests: The experience and meaning of work, creation of meaning in challenging organizational and occupational contexts, the valuing and devaluing of work


The Wharton School's esteemed faculty, rigorous coursework, and strong ties to the banking industry were compelling factors in my decision to attend this program, but I was also intrigued by the opportunity to meet other women leaders who represented other industries.

The program offers invaluable opportunities for high-achieving women seeking to enhance their leadership skills. It really helped me uncover latent skills that had been dormant for a while, leading to my own personal growth. Following the program, the biggest change I noticed is that it increased my confidence as a female leader.”

Tanya M. Duncan EVP. Revenue and Strategy, Mass Bankers Association

Women in business are always compared to the highest-achieving men, never the mediocre ones. I feel like we wear a sort of invisible armor, especially in science where we are so outnumbered. You always have to be the best. I would never share my weaknesses with them. But the first day of Women’s Executive Leadership (WEXL) was like a high school reunion. We shared our challenges, which is something I would never do in another group. We were all very established women from many different industries and disciplines. I’ve always thought of myself as an R&D person — I have been in science for 25 years. But after the first few sessions in the Wharton program, I realized I could grow more. WEXL showed me that I have strengths on the business side. I never thought of myself that way. It really raised the bar on how I view myself and my strengths. I feel very empowered.”

Junko Stevens R&D Senior Director, ThermoFisher Scientific

[The learning groups] became the space where we could begin to apply what we learned to situations at work, guided by coaches who facilitated the discussion and offered probing questions to help us think more critically and with the new lens of our readings. We identified our strengths and areas for improvement before the program started, which in my group included finding opportunities for public speaking, growing our networks, and being seen as thought leaders in our field.

The meeting with my group at the end of each day became a highlight. We really bonded, encouraging each other, nudging each other to step out of our comfort zone into whatever growth area we had identified. We helped each other reframe perceived problems as well as coached each other on how best to position ourselves for opportunities of advancement.

We picked up right where we left off and have committed to continue to meet monthly — the Teams recurring calendar holds are in our calendars! Each of us was able to report an improvement that we experienced, and we voiced what we wanted to take on next. This is creating a sense of accountability for me to take action on my goals, with the support and encouragement of strong, inspiring women who shared a similar experience."

Lynn Mertz Senior Strategic Policy Advisor, AARP

Maureen Clancy Vice President, Head of Global Program Leadership, Kura Oncology

Nicole D’Souza Director of Corporate Development, OBG

I think it has helped me target/focus on some specific areas that I need to work on next. I also have found value in sharing some of my lessons with others within the organization, which brings me joy in being able to share with others — skills that can help them be successful as well.

If you are a skeptic like I was about 'women’s events,' I would tell you that this was not that. This was a professional experience. The topics were extremely relevant, and the participants were top notch. There was never an inkling of 'I’m a woman, I’m naturally picked on' but instead content was focused more on a message of 'why not you?' and understanding why women engage the way they do. I loved it!”

Danielle Waterworth Vice President, North America - Dealer and Customer Support, CNH Industrial

It is rare to have the opportunity to share with other business women. Women are not a minority, but we often behave like we are. We keep our defenses up and feel the need to prove ourselves all the time. In this program, we were not competing — we were collaborating. From the beginning, it was like being in a group of people that you knew already. The usual competition, the hyper alertness you feel in other programs, wasn’t there. We were able to share personal things, talking about issues we struggle with every day. It wasn’t the main topic of the program, but it was interesting that we could be more open about things that we would not discuss in another environment. I have organized many leadership programs for MBA students both in Chile and overseas, and have also attended many programs. This one was really outstanding. We had some of Wharton’s top faculty with us every day — their energy and commitment to the program was a real bonus.”

Paula Broitman Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Dr. Tami Benton

A New Perspective on Leadership

The way the program was structured really kept your attention. The flow of the content was really good; the speakers were for the most part amazing. You barely wanted to take a bathroom break for fear of missing something good!

The participants were such a great group of women. Although our industries and experience levels were all different, we faced similar challenges at work such as personality issues and silo problems. You felt like everybody was there to learn and listen and was committed to being there. An added bonus is that Wharton has such an amazing reputation, and people are familiar with the program, so it’s going to be good to have it on my résumé.”

Megan Killian Vice President of Member Relations, Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Wharton’s Women’s Executive Leadership program was a gift to myself; a life-changing experience and totally worth it. The experience is still very near and dear to me.

I met so many great people in the program, from South Africa and Saudi Arabia and from all around the world, working in different areas such as teaching, banking, and startups. They are building communities of women leaders within their organizations, which is so powerful when you think about it.

The program is already helping me in my career, not just that I have Wharton on my LinkedIn profile, but with my career goals. I’m currently director of engineering within Comcast, aspiring to become a senior leader in this space. How do I get there? I learned about being an adaptive leader and am slowly but surely crafting my role into what I want it to be eventually as I turn into a lifelong student!

I would definitely recommend the Women’s Executive Leadership program and have already recommended it to several women at Comcast who don’t know about the course. I would consider taking another Wharton course in the future, maybe the Advanced Management Program."

Kinnera Angadi Director, Software Engineering, Comcast

Date, Location, & Fees

If you are unable to access the application form, please email Client Relations at

October 21 – 25, 2024Philadelphia, PA$12,250

Download the program schedule, including session details and format.

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