Wharton Women

in Data Science and Analytics

This March, Analytics at Wharton celebrates International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month by showcasing business analytics leaders, pioneering researchers, and risings data science superstars.

Opening Doors and Closing Gaps

How Wharton is Creating Access and Equality for Women in Data Science and Analytics

Only 15% to 22% of data scientists are women, a disheartening statistic that Wharton is working to change. Since it was established three years ago, Analytics at Wharton has been forging a path for more women to enter the field through aggressive recruitment, special programs, and mentorship. The effort is paying off with more female participation in its programs this year than ever before.

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Educating and Empowering Women

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By the Numbers

Scholarship Raised for the Wharton Data Science Academy

The Wharton School and Penn Engineering were proud to host the third annual Women in Data Science (WiDS) @ Penn Conference on February 9-10, 2022. Over the course of two days, attendees tuned in for talks showcasing the latest advances in data science, live speaker Q&A sessions, and networking opportunities.

This year’s theme – This is What a Data Scientist Looks Like – emphasized the diversity of data science, both in subject matter and personnel. A celebrated interdisciplinary event, WiDS @ Penn welcomed academic, industry, and student speakers from across the data science landscape.

What Does it Mean to Be a Courageous Leader?

Kate Johnson, WG’94, former president of Microsoft US, spoke with Wharton Customer Analytics Executive Director Mary Purk about her career journey, managing and leading change, and Microsoft’s efforts to drive diversity and inclusion. Read More >>

Lynn Wu Head ShotWharton Webinar: Leveraging AI to Help Businesses

Lynn Wu, associate professor of operations, information and decisions, shares key insights on how artificial intelligence can be used to optimize everything from safer car chassis, new antibiotics, and temperature management at large data centers. Watch Webinar >>

WiDS Industry SpeakersCareer Advice from Women in Data Science

WiDS @ Penn asked keynote speaker Michelle Peluso, W’93, and featured industry panelists – Victoria Lewis-Bogatyrenko, WG’94, Gayatri Narayan, and Jenny Wolski – to share their best career advice for aspiring female data scientists and women looking to advance their careers in the field. Read More >>

Michelle Peluso headshotCVS Health Chief Customer Officer On Her Journey To The C-Suite

WiDS @ Penn Keynote Speaker Michelle Peluso, W’93, shares the importance of diversity in data analytics and reveals lessons learned along her journey to the C-Suite. Read in Forbes >>

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The Next Generation of Female Analytics Leaders

Sarah Hu Head ShotIt’s a Numbers Game: Penn Students Detail Their Analytics Internships in the NFL

Nearly every young sports fan dreams of one day growing up to work for their favorite team. For Sarah Hu, co-president of the Wharton Undergraduate Sports Business Club, this fantasy became a reality last summer when she interned for the Detroit Lions. Read More >>

More on Sarah Hu: The Best Defense is a Good Data Set: Wharton Students Named Finalists in the NFL Big Data Bowl

Sydney Bramen headshotWharton Data Science Academy Alumna Sydney Bramen Is Creating Impact Through Analytics

Wharton Data Science Academy alumna Sydney Bramen hopes to learn more about applying data science to real-world problems, including education inequality. In her junior year, she learned the coding language Swift to create an app to help a struggling student learn fractions. Read More >>

Investing in the Future


Analytics at Wharton is dedicated to creating equitable opportunities to educate the next generation of female data scientists and analytics leaders. This year AAW and fellow WiDS @ Penn Conference co-hosts donated more than $11,000 from registration fees to support need-based scholarships for female high school students. These scholarships expose young talent to the field of data science and analytics and enable students, regardless of their background, to participate in the Wharton Data Science Academy.

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People Analytics and Workplace Dynamics


Women@Work is a weekly conversation on how to help women join, stay, succeed, and lead in the workplace. Host Laura Zarrow explores tactics and strategies to help women and men succeed at all stages of their careers, talks with extraordinary role models, and looks through the gender lens to build a more inclusive, satisfying, and diverse workplace. Women@Work airs every Thursday from 5-6 p.m. ET only on SiriusXM 132.

Laura Zarrow - Wharton People Analytics

Laura Zarrow

Executive Director of Wharton People Analytics
Host of Women@Work

Emily Nelson head shotHow Vulnerability, Authenticity, and Trust Lead to Enhanced Professional Performance and Personal Wellbeing

Emily Nelson, deputy chief flight director at NASA, joined the third installment of Wharton Neuroscience’s Vulnerability, Authenticity, and Trust series, which examines individual, team, and organizational performance based on neuroscience and human behavior. Nelson emphasized the high level of trust required throughout her team’s hierarchy in order to execute a flight mission safely and successfully. Watch Video >>

Brie Groh, WG'22 headshotWhat Will the Future of Work Look Like? MBA Brie Groh Is Helping Wharton People Analytics Answer This Question

Workplace culture has become a guidepost for Brie Groh, WG’22, which is why she’s excited for the virtual Wharton Future of Work Conference on April 7. As the conference chairperson, Brie is working alongside Wharton People Analytics to invite great minds to share the latest information about evolving workplace culture and practices, including burnout, hybrid work, and the 4-day workweek. Read More >>

Learn More: Wharton Future of Work Conference

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Creating Social Impact with Analytics

Homa Hosseinmardi headshotResearcher spotlight: Homa Hosseinmardi

As the lead researcher on the Penn Media Accountability Project (PennMAP), Homa Hosseinmardi tackles questions of online political radicalization and misbehavior using large-scale data. Hosseinmardi shares her experience navigating the field of computational social science, joining the CSS Lab, and spearheading PennMAP. Read More >>

Additional Research: What Big Data Reveals About Online Extremism; Is the algorithm to blame? Research on YouTube radicalization says not quite

Hamsa Bastani headshotProfessor Hamsa Bastani on Using Machine Learning To Combat Human Trafficking

Wharton Social Impact’s Research Spotlight series highlights Wharton professors and doctoral students whose research focuses on the intersection of business and impact. WSII spoke with Hamsa Bastani, assistant professor of operations, information, and decisions, about key findings from her research on how deep web data and machine learning can help law enforcement agencies investigate and intervene in human trafficking. Read More >>

Additional Research: Efficient and Targeted COVID-19 Border Testing Via Reinforcement Learning; How Artificial Intelligence Can Slow the Spread of COVID-19

Gender Lens Investing

New research from Project Sage 4.0 quantifies the size and growth of gender lens investing and analyzes the latest trends.

Increase of Gender Lens Funds
Senior Leadership Identifies as Female
Total Capital Raised

Suzanne Biege head shotSuzanne Biegel, W’84

Catalyst at Large Ltd

Sandi Hunt head shotSandi M. Hunt

Managing Director
Wharton Social Impact Initiative

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Conducted By Women, Powered by WRDS

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By the Numbers

Published Papers in WRDS Research Paper Series on SSRN
WRDS-Developed Products, Research Applications, Sample Programs, Classroom, Linking, and Analytics Tools
Datasets Across Multiple Disciplines

Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) provides the leading business intelligence, data analytics, and research services to 75,000+ users at 500+ institutions in 35+ countries―enabling impactful research, comprehensive thought leadership, and insight into the latest innovations in academic research.

WRDS Best Paper Awards elevate the visibility of researchers working across an array of fields by providing press, peer recognition, and reach needed in today’s competitive research landscape. In 2021, four of the five WRDS Best Paper Awards were co-authored by female academics.

Flattening the Curve: Pandemic-Induced Revaluation of Urban Real Estate

  • Vrinda Mittal, Columbia University
  • Arpit Gupta, New York University
  • Jonas Peeters, New York University
  • Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh, Columbia University

Investing in influence: Investors, portfolio firms, and political giving

  • Marianne Bertrand, University of Chicago
  • Matilde Bombardini, University of California-Berkeley
  • Ray Fisman, Boston University
  • Francesco Trebbi, University of California-Berkeley
  • Eyub Yegen, University of Toronto

Opening up Military Innovation: Causal Effects of ‘Bottom-Up’ Reforms to U.S. Defense Research

  • Sabrina T. Howell, New York University
  • Jason Rathje, United States Air Force
  • John Van Reenen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Jun Wong, New York University

Judge Ideology, SEC Enforcement, and Insider Trading

  • Yue Zheng, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Allen Huang, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
  • Kai Wai Hu, The University of Hong Kong