Program Experience

Highlights and Key Outcomes

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

  • Reimagine and advance your leadership skills
  • Enhance your professional influence
  • Improve your business acumen by gaining a more sophisticated understanding of talent management
  • Better understand nuances of negotiations and emotional intelligence
  • Hone your critical-thinking and decision-making abilities

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 Professor 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, finance, 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:

  • Corporate Governance
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Leaning In: How Not to Fall Over
  • Leadership and Teamwork
  • Negotiations
  • How Top Women Succeed

Each afternoon, participants will break into small groups to review the day’s learnings and discuss how they can be put into practice. Wharton faculty and executive coaches oversee the sessions, provide real-time coaching and feedback for effective outcomes, and translate the practicum for participants to take back to the office.

Within this collegial forum, participants will establish the beginnings of a lifelong network of women executives and their allies — who often face similar decision points and possibilities along their career paths — which can become a rich resource of influential peers.

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.

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

Brian Bushee

Brian Bushee, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Geoffrey T. Boisi Professor of Accounting, Senior Vice Dean of Teaching and Learning, The Wharton School

Research Interests: Corporate disclosure, institutional investors, stock market anomalies

Karen Dinunzio

Karen DiNunzio, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Principal, Karen DiNunzio PhD LLC

Mary-Hunter McDonnell

Mary-Hunter McDonnell, JD, PhDSee Faculty Bio

Associate Professor of Management; Faculty Co-Director, Zicklin Center for Governance and Business Ethics

Research Interests: Organizational theory (political sociology, institutional theory); nonmarket strategy; corporate governance; corporate misconduct and punishment


Maureen Clancy Senior Director, Endo Pharmaceuticals

Nicole D’Souza Director of Corporate Development, OBG

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! I was particularly impressed with Professor Sigal Barsade’s emotional intelligence sessions. I learned a lot about myself and the people I interact with. I have definitely applied that — probably every single day since I’ve been back from the program — in dealing with my co-workers, superiors, and board members.

I also really liked the financial session. I’ve worked with CPAs for a long time but my background is not financial, so it was a good way of seeing what my members do every day. Plus, my company recently went through financial reporting for year-end, and I felt like I was more prepared to understand the details.

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.

The program was very structured and managed well. A big takeaway for me was the emotional intelligence session, which was beautifully crafted and we role-played to understand others’ emotions. I also liked the session on financial acumen. I’m a math person, so I’m technically savvy, but the instructor really made finance look simple to everyone. Also, the negotiation tools I learned are something I use daily at work still today!

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

Rachel Hudson Vice President of Operations, Cadent Network

What attracted me to Wharton’s program was its focus on women. The way Wharton structured this program, we were able to become very close in a short time. There was a lot of exchange of experiences in a structured way — my class had women from Africa, Brazil, and the U.S., and we all have the same challenges. That was really comforting and exciting.

The emotional intelligence session was one of my favorite parts. You always think that you are a certain kind of leader but being able to detach and look at it from a different perspective was very helpful. I’ve applied insights I learned during the session every day, not only professionally but also personally. Also, I’ve worked in financial markets, which is a male-dominated environment here in Latin America and in the U.S. I was happy to learn that the challenges I had during my career were the same as the other women in the program regardless of their career focus or age.

This program has helped me tackle new opportunities as I’ve changed jobs, going from the Brazilian Stock Exchange to now being responsible for sales for Brazil’s first open-air shopping center that uses recycled containers. I am looking to be a transformation agent in the company and build a legacy professionally.”

Karina Melendez Head of Sales and Business Development, Vila Butantan, São Paulo, Brazil

Dr. Tami Benton

A New Perspective on Leadership

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

Mary Jo Timlin-Hoag

A Diverse Network

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

Date, Location, & Fees

March 18 – 22, 2024Philadelphia, PA$12,000

October 21 – 25, 2024Philadelphia, PA$12,000

Download the program schedule, including session details and format.

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