Men are afraid to mentor women after #MeToo and it hurts us all: study

 nypost.com  05/17/2019 14:19:24   Rob Bailey-Millado

Men are scared of women now.

LeanIn.org and SurveyMonkey’s new #MentorHer poll reveals Friday that 60% of male managers report feeling “too nervous” about being accused of harassment to interact with women in “common workplace” activities such as mentoring, socializing and one-on-one meetings.

That’s a 32% spike from 2018, with an additional 36% of men saying they now actively avoid women in junior-level positions  effectively chopping down their shot at climbing the corporate ladder.

The vast majority of managers and senior leaders are men,” says Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, SurveyMonkey board member and founder of LeanIn.Org, in a statement. “If they are reluctant even to meet one-on-one with women, theres no way women can get an equal shot at proving themselves.”

Widening the gender gap is actually an abuse of power, she says.

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 05: Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, and Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, off camera, testify during a Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing in Dirksen Building where they testified on the influence of foreign operations on social media on September 5, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Sheryl SandergCQ-Roll Call,Inc.

“We’re in a bad place  no one’s ever gotten promoted without a one-on-one meeting, I feel confident in saying that,” Sandberg tells “CBS This Morning” host Gayle King Friday. “Senior men right now are nine times more hesitant to travel with a woman and six times more likely to hesitate to have a work dinner.”

Women  and especially women of color  don’t get the same amount of mentoring as men, “which means we’re not getting an equal seat at the table,” Sandberg says. “It’s not enough to not harass us, you need to not ignore us, either.”

The study reports that the fear factor grew in concurrence with the rise of the massive #MeToo social media movement founded by activist Tarana Burke and fueled by a torrent of models and actresses accusing Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby of sexual harassment and assault.

In the last three years, scores of women  and some high-profile men, such as actors Terry Crews and Anthony Rapp  came forward to voice their experiences with harassment by people in positions of power.

Now Sandberg says it’s time for men to “step up” and “redefine what it means to be a good guy at work”  before it costs us all a whole lot of cold hard cash.

Theres not a company in the world that can afford to leave talent on the sidelines because its female, she says. But thats what will keep happening unless all of us  especially men  commit to doing better.

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