The Wharton 22s is an initiative to promote gender parity by encouraging awareness, dialogue, and action by men within the Wharton community. Founded in 2015 as an affiliate of Wharton Women in Business, and with a name that calls attention to the gender pay gap, the 22s organization now has hundreds of members.
The 22s develops programming that is open to all students, with key events including anonymous Q&A sessions at which men can ask female classmates about their experiences with gender inequality; lectures and panels by female business leaders across different industries; and workshops on advocacy. The group also organizes events such as bystander intervention training and supports diversity initiatives with other organizations within the University of Pennsylvania community. We have received significant support from the Wharton administration, with Associate Director of Student Life Eric Morin serving as an advisor. The School fosters a community with meaningful personal interactions, one in which we can learn from female peers about the gender dynamics they have faced in their careers—for example, unconscious biases among colleagues and family planning imbalances affecting career progression.
Wharton has been a great place to start conversations and promote awareness, but we know the work doesn’t stop here. Members of the 22s sign a pledge to continue promoting gender parity throughout their post-MBA lives, with the goal of creating long-term change. We believe gender equality is important for everyone, and as future business leaders, we have been given an opportunity to have a positive impact on society. For men at Wharton, being a part of the 22s is one important step.—Neal SenGupta WG18 and Steve Szalay WG18
Published as “Brothers in Advocacy’” in the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of Wharton Magazine.