The aftermath of #MeToo is making new barriers for women in the workplace

In response to the #metoo movement, a growing number of male managers are uncomfortable mentoring female colleagues -- highlighting the frustrating, paradoxical path of progress.

May 20, 2019

A recent survey found that 60% of male managers are uncomfortable mentoring and socializing one-on-one with women at work.

This 32% spike from last year highlights the paradoxical path of progress from the #MeToo movement, as strides made against sexual harassment are coming largely at the price of mentorship, networking, and development opportunities for women. 

Exec-level men are the ‘shyest’ of them all 

Men in senior positions are 12x more reluctant to engage with junior-level women — a serious stumbling block for women working to advance their careers. 

As Sheryl Sandberg put it, “No one has ever gotten a promotion without getting a one-on-one meeting.”

Behavior change, not eliminating male-female interaction 

Sexism and harassment are complex issues rooted in entrenched attitudes, institutional structures, and countless other factors.

Some companies have poured money into harassment training, which has showed some promise. But one thing is clear: Isolating women is NOT the answer. 

Men need to play an active role in supporting female colleagues and giving them space to succeed — without expecting women to fix the broken system that puts them at a disadvantage in the first place.

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