Jennifer Schwab Wangers is the kind of woman you want to have in your corner. And thankfully, for the hundreds of students and graduates of ENTITY Academy, she is.
As the Founder and CEO of ENTITY – a media platform built to encourage a new generation of female leaders – Jennifer is a fierce supporter of all women, and has made it her life’s work to empower them.
She does so through ENTITY Academy, a post-graduate training program that centers around high-touch mentorship with established industry leaders. The curriculum is curated to help women fill the skills gap between college and professional life, an important and often career-making distinction that is many times missed by colleges and universities.
“ENTITY Academy strives to directly impact closing the gender pay gap by training, mentoring and placing women in 21st century careers,” describes the organization.
ENTITY helps women of all ages and backgrounds hone the skills relevant to their career goals, connecting them with lifelong mentors, job opportunities and vital internal self-confidence.
“I wanted to create a mentorship platform to get women on the fast track right out of school,” explains Jennifer. “I was constantly noodling on: Why is the transition from college to career often so daunting? What skills was I missing on day one when I became a tax consultant at Ernst & Young in Chicago? What skills do entry level women need so they can hit the ground running in their first job? This eventually morphed our company into an innovative EdTech business that has a four pillar approach to education: a) hard skills; b) soft skills; c) mentorship; and d) experiences.”
“When I began my corporate career out of school, I was shocked to see how few women held senior positions,” she continues. “I was even more shocked to see how women viewed their compatriots at the office as competition. Instead of banding together to help each other, they would often torpedo and discredit each other. While this behavior has improved today, women truly pulling for each other in both action and word is still a relatively new phenomenon. …What we need is to support and mentor each other in the workplace and beyond – much in the same way men have done for centuries. This is what ENTITY is all about.”
An excellent role model for all young professionals, what advice does Jennifer have for those that are just starting out?
“Be self-aware in recognizing when you enter ‘the zone’ and fall into a cadence where work doesn’t feel like work,” she advises. “Follow that feeling and do the work necessary to be one of the best in that activity or field. Your career can be an anchor for happiness if you prioritize this.”