The #MeToo movement has helped bring awareness to sexual abuse that commonly goes undiscussed. However, it also has been a bludgeoning tool by which vengeful or angry women have used to “hurt” people they do not like by accusing them of sexual misconduct. Unfortunately, men have little recourse if accused of this, and if they do not find their livelihoods destroyed, a “MeToo” accusation can have a man’s personal property or family attacked.
As a result, it is not a surprise that 60% of male managers say they are uncomfortable interacting with female employees:
More than half (60 percent) of male managers say they are uncomfortable interacting one-on-one with female employees in and out of the workplace, according to a new survey.
That includes 20 percent who are uncomfortable working alone with a woman in an office and 40 percent who say they would rather not socialize outside of work with female employees, according to the poll of 2,421 men and 2,761 women conducted by SurveyMonkey on behaf of LeanIn.org – the nonprofit founded by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg to support women at work.
‘The vast majority of managers and senior leaders are men. If they are reluctant even to meet one-on-one with women, there’s no way women can get an equal shot at proving themselves,’ Sandberg said.
The numbers represent a 32 percent increase compared to 2018 – an apparent backlash against the #metoo movement which has taken down numerous men in media, entertainment and other fields after their sexually aggressive and inappropriate behavior was made public.
‘There’s not a company in the world that can afford to leave talent on the sidelines because it’s female,’ Sandberg said. ‘But that’s what will keep happening unless all of us—especially men—commit to doing better.’
In addition, 36 percent of men have said they’ve avoided mentoring or socializing with a female employee because they were fearful about ‘how it would look.’
Men were nervous about interacting with women at work in all sorts of ways, including 26 percent who said they would hesitate to travel with a junior woman for work.
‘A lot of men want to be part of the solution and if they’re sitting on the sidelines and not actively supporting women then they are inadvertently part of the problem,’ LeanIn.org President Rachel Thomas told DailyMail.com.
‘Men need to understand a lot of the responsibility for changing the power dynamic in organizations rests on their shoulders … that means men need to mentor and sponsor women if we’re going to change the numbers,’ Thomas added.
Half of men said that the consequences of sexual harassment claims damaged the men who were accused more than the victims, while 64 percent of women say the victims suffer more.
Despite the #metoo movement, 57 percent of women said they’ve experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace at some point, ranging from sexist jokes to inappropriate touching.
However, 85 percent of women said they felt safe from harassment at work in 2019.
And a majority (70 percent) of all Americans say the company they work for has made an effort to address sexual harassment – up from 46 percent in 2018.
Yet, 50 percent of workers say punishments for sexual harassment aren’t harsh enough – and 30 percent say that high-performing employees are rarely or never held accountable for harassing coworkers. (source, source)