Women @ Work Panel
The Glass Ceiling and the Broken Rung
Thanks for attending!
The Women @ Work panel is presented by Forge + The Galant Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at UVA's McIntire School of Commerce + HearstLab + Venture Lab @ The University of Pennsylvania

Hear from a diverse panel of UVA & Wharton women grads turned investors, entrepreneurs, and corporate leaders on how they've defied the odds and navigated the real world glass ceiling and the broken rung.
Meet the Panelists
  • Sharon Cao
    After a UVA degree in Systems Engineering, working as a Business Analyst, and a 4-year stint at a DMV high-growth startup,, Sharon made the leap to co-found Happied. By nature, she is a builder, explorer and connector who believes that meaningful experiences and strong communities are the keys to happiness. She draws from her experience in the tech world and strong execution skills to lead the Happied team to build their platform, which uses data to more efficiently and effectively curate exceptionally meaningful (and enjoyable) events + retreats.
  • Clare Carr
    Clare is a marketing, communications, and brand strategy leader focused on changing the face of leadership. Currently, she is the VP of Enterprise Marketing at Chief. She previously led marketing at, which was acquired by WordPressVIP in 2021 and launched the audience development function at Greentech Media, which was acquired by Verisk Analytics in 2016. Clare is a graduate of UVA and holds a BA in Environmental Science. Outside of work, Clare is a dedicated mom to two kids and serves at Forge's Board Chairperson.
  • Dana Kim
    Dana Kim is founder and CEO of Highlight, an agile in-home product testing platform. Dana spent 5 years at a boutique insights agency, where she saw firsthand the difficulty of product testing. So she founded Highlight - the platform streamlines everything from recruit to data set, including all the logistics of getting your product to your target customers. It boasts 90% survey completion rates, can get product in hands in days, and seamlessly collects targeted feedback at scale.
  • Shanel Fields
    In 2018, Shanel Fields leveraged her mobile and healthcare technology expertise to launch MD Ally, an EMS telemedicine platform that enables collaborative partnerships between public safety and provider organizations for large-scale mobile integrated healthcare initiatives. Shanel has found that driving innovation in the 911 space has fulfilled her desire to positively impact the world around her and improve the health of all citizens, particularly when they're at their most vulnerable moments.
Tackling Gender Equity Topics
The Glass Ceiling
Women make up only 26% of leadership roles in the workforce (McKinsey). One of the reasons frequently cited as evidence for this disparity is the 'glass ceiling.' The glass ceiling might be a myth, however, as recently a new theory has been cited as the cause for the gender disparity in executive level positions– the broken rung.
The Broken Rung
The "broken rung" theory from Lean In theorizes women aren't getting promoted into their first manager position, thus setting them back from moving up. In their 2022 Women in the Workplace report, Lean In found that for every 100 men who are promoted from entry level to manager, only 87 women are promoted, and only 82 women of color are promoted.
Launch Internship Program and Gender Equity in Tech
Along with intern training and placement, our 2023 Launch program will take a deeper dive into increasing gender equity in tech.