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Credit: Peter Waggonner

About 40 percent of Wharton MBA and undergraduate students are female, yet Wharton has only brought a handful of female speakers over the past five years. For this reason, a recent column published in the Daily Pennsylvanian argued that Wharton should bring more female speakers.

While many professors, departments and student groups host lecture events, the Wharton Dean’s office only directly sponsors three lecture series: the Leadership Lecture Series, the Social Impact Lecture Series and the Michael L. Tarnopol Dean’s Lecture Series.

Speakers for the Social Impact Lecture Series are selected by 1984 Wharton graduate Bobby Turner, who created the series in 2010.

The Michael L. Tarnopol Dean’s Lecture Series was created in 2007. The process for choosing lectures for this series is unclear.

For the Wharton Leadership Lecture Series, a student committee, which includes 15-20 MBA and undergraduate students, votes on speakers, said MBA Associate Director Eric Morin. Students, alumni, faculty or staff can recommend a speaker on the Leadership Lecture Series website. The recommendation goes through the Wharton’s speaker approval system, and if approved, the student committee votes to bring the speaker to campus.

“Over the past two years, one of our biggest goals has been to expand the offerings of female speakers,” Morin said in an email. “We continue to strive towards attracting the best and most relevant possible list of speakers for our student body”

The Daily Pennsylvanian takes a look at the percentage of female and male speakers sponsored by Wharton in the past five years.

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