The self-starter and founder of GenHERation stresses the importance of being true to oneself and empowering others. (And she has a personal message for Nike founder Phil Knight.)

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?

If you can see it, you can be it!

WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL?

Just be yourself! I attended an all-girls Catholic school in Hamburg, New York and people often ask me if this environment was as drama-filled as it may seem. The girls from my school are some of the nicest people I have ever met; everyone supported each other and accepted others for who they were. I was (and still am!) a nerd. I carried two backpacks to school, performed comedic sketches in my economics class, and choreographed the annual lip sync competition. I also learned how to tie a tie because it was part of our uniform, which is always a valuable skill to have.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST PET PEEVE?

Rude people.

WHAT DO YOU WEAR THAT MAKES YOU FEEL STRONG?

Confidence is the best accessory.

WHAT IS ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND?

Books (I usually read a few different books at the same time and I am currently reading a neuroscience book, a comedian’s autobiography, and a book on customer loyalty an investor gave me), a birthday card from my sister, and a picture of my family.

WHAT GIVES YOU GOOSE BUMPS?

An emotional movie.

WHAT IS YOUR BAD DAY BACKUP PLAN?

A king-sized Kit Kat bar and a raspberry Snapple.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

Success is doing what you love every day and enjoying the journey as you accomplish your goals.

BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

“Always root for the underdog.” –My Dad

WHAT MAKES YOU FORGET TO EAT?

Traveling! When I am on the road in different time zones, I have to make sure I make time to eat.

WHAT DID YOUR 8 YEAR-OLD SELF LOVE DOING?

Tap dancing! I have been tap dancing since I was three years old and I still tap dance today.

WHAT 3 THINGS WOULD YOU GRAB IN A FIRE?

My dad, mom, and my sister. Things are not important.

FAVORITE WORD? WHY?

Determination. I wrote my 9th grade research paper on the importance of the word determination. I truly believe that if you are determined and never give up, anything is possible.

FAVORITE BOOK? WHY?

The Great Gatsby is my all-time favorite book because I admire Gatsby’s quest for excellence. My current favorite book is Shoe Dog, which is the memoir of Nike founder Phil Knight. Phil, if you are reading this please email me because I want to interview you for a monthly column I write for Wharton Magazine.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO THE WORK YOU DO AND BEGIN GENHERATION?

I grew up in an environment that nurtured female leaders and when I started college I realized that there was a striking gender leadership gap in almost every industry, which inspired me to conduct international research on leadership development in high school girls across 9 countries. I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur and knew that there needed to be a business solution to create a better pipeline of female talent. I started GenHERation when I was an undergraduate at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Since March of 2014, we have empowered more than 75,000 young women and hosted 60 events across North America.

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW THAT YOU ARE CURRENTLY EXCITED ABOUT?

I am excited about our next GenHERation Discovery Days summer tour! GenHERation Discovery Days are immersive day trips that provide high school and college women with the opportunity to visit and interact with female executives at the most innovative companies in America, including Southwest Airlines, GSK, EY, Adobe, Hartford Funds, and NFP. We will be hosting 10 trips across 7 cities with more than 250 female executives.

For more on Discovery Days visit GenHERation and follow Katlyn on: