Katlyn Grasso, by her own admission, “grew up in a very empowered environment,” believing that she, as a young woman, could achieve anything. By the time she got to school at the University of Pennsylvania, however, she discovered that not everyone, apparently, feels the same way.
While researching who fills top executive positions in companies and government, Grasso found out just how few women were represented. The issue, she decided, was that young women aspiring to executive positions needed more role models and encouragement — something like that “empowered environment” of her childhood.
And so, even before her graduation, Grasso founded GenHERation — an “interactive media company” that produces content and events aimed at empowering women and girls in high school and college. GenHERation has two component parts, the digital platform where there are inspirational articles and pieces of advice as well as interviews with female leaders in politics, tech and more. And then there’s the events portion, the summer Discovery Days tour.
During Discovery Days 2016 GenHERation will visit five cities around the country, leading a day or two of events where the team brings together high school and college girls with female execs at some of the country’s top companies and agencies — Twitter, Google, Wedding Wire and the U.S. State Department among them.
This summer is GenHERation’s third, but the Discovery Days name is new and Grasso told Technical.ly the structure will be a little different from past years too. In past years the girls and leaders have been brought together in a mutual location — this year GenHERation will bring the girls to the companies and being in the actual workplace will be another perk of participation.
Discovery Days hits D.C. on July 27-28.
They do come at a price tag — around $300 — but Grasso said she and her team “never want cost to be prohibitive” and encourage women to fundraise their way to the total.
As for her own goals, and the goals she holds for the company, Grasso says there’s a short-term answer and a long-term answer. In the short term, naturally, Grasso wants to get as many participants in Discovery Days 2016 as possible. But in the long term — “we want to be the leading brand for young women who want to take over the world.”
A suiting ambition, perhaps, for a company that wishes to inspire just that in its users.