Men have found a new way to absolve themselves of the responsibility of mentoring and promoting women in the workplace: fear over the MeToo movement.
The New York Times reports that at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, basically an extended spa retreat for the mega-rich, male executives are afraid of the increasing movement to hold abusers accountable for their actions. As these two sources put it:
“I now think twice about spending one-on-one time with a young female colleague,” said one American finance executive, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the issue is “just too sensitive.”
“Me, too,” said another man in the conversation.
The lesson these men have apparently taken from MeToo is not that sexual harassment is a pervasive institutional issue, but that women are a threat, so best to just leave them behind. One economist found that nearly two-thirds of male executives were reluctant to hold one-on-one meetings with women “lest their motives be misconstrued by their colleagues.” Wall Street, already a boys club, is now reportedly excluding women from work dinners, meetings, and trips. The end result is same as the old result: women’s careers in male-dominated workplaces will continue to stall.
Pat Milligan, Global Leader for the Multinational Client Group and Mercer’s When Women Thrive initiative, told the Times that “a number of men have told me that they will avoid going to dinner with a female mentee, or that they’re concerned about deploying a woman solo on-site with a male.”
“If we allow this to happen, it will set us back decades,” Ms. Milligan said. “Women have to be sponsored by leaders, and leaders are still mostly men.”
This really isn’t that hard, men: Treat your women colleagues as team members, not as women you’re trying to fuck. If you don’t know how to do that, you deserve to suffer the consequences.