“12 trips. 10 cities. 500 female executives,” reads the Discovery Days page of the GenHERation website. GenHERation, under the leadership of founder and Wharton graduate Katlyn Grasso, is an organization that aims to create a network connecting young girls with female executives “to close the gender leadership gap,” in the entertainment, tech, finance, and other industries Grasso explained, citing the 93.6 percent of Fortune 500 companies led by male CEOs.
“We really felt that the best way to get girls to see what it’s like to lead a company and meet executives is to take them into the doors of the companies themselves,” said Grasso of the impetus for Discovery Days. Discovery Days are immersive summer day trips that provide high school and college women with the opportunity to visit the most innovative companies in America and meet their female executives. The tour visits 10 cities during the months of July and August and 50 new girls board the bus in each city. At the headquarters of every company, the girls have get the chance to speak to the female executives in a panel format, and experience simulations in which they solve problems that the business might face on a daily basis.
Beyond the time each girl spends at the companies’ headquarters, the GenHERation team shares the résumé of every attendee and facilitates communication between the girls and the companies should any be interested in an internship or job. Success stories such as that of Clayton Buckaloo who landed an internship with the Oprah Winfrey Network after visiting their headquarters in a 2017 Discovery Day embody the goal of these days: to “send more powerful women leaders into the world,” said Grasso.
Buckaloo was inspired by the work and values of OWN and used the contacts she’d made at the Discovery Day to reach out to the network about a potential internship. “GenHERation set me up with everything I needed: context, contacts and drive,” Buckaloo wrote in her reflection on the experience. Ultimately, she received her “dream internship.”
The GenHERation team will hold the LA Discovery Days on July 11 and 12, partnering with Bolt Bus to take the girls to the headquarters of Buzzfeed, Mattel, Ernst and Young, The Honest Company, Coolhaus, and Tracy Anderson to make connections with their executives and to discover more about their own interests. Tickets are $300 for both days and include both food and transportation.
“I think if it’s just two days over the summer that you can invest in yourself and your future, it’s going to pay off infinitely in the future,” Grasso said.
To buy tickets, go to https://genheration.com/discovery-days/