Men Mentoring Women Post #MeToo
Men mentoring women is essential for a career success
But post #MeToo We are now seeing a backlash which we need to deal with
New research by LeanIn.Org and SurveyMonkey has revealed a startling new statistic. 60% of male managers now say they are uncomfortable participating in common workplace and professional activities with women. This includes mentoring sessions, one on one business meetings, dinners, or even socializing. This research is US based, set amidst a culture of litigation. But although I have not found the same levels of concern in Europe, there are still some underlying issues which are frequently raised in workshops.
It would seem that the workplace behaviours, many of which were illegal highlighted by the #MeToo movement are coming back to haunt women in a negative way. Somehow it has again become about how men feel. This is despite that fact that they occupy most of the positions of power and influence in our organisations. They significantly out-number women at senior levels in almost all workplaces except maybe nail salons.
Men need to mentor regardless of gender
Men cannot be reluctant to meet women one-on-one. It is immediately going to put women on a more unequal footing to their male colleagues and peers. This means that women will continue to be excluded from normal business processes and interactions. It is not just bad for their careers, but also definitely bad for business. Companies cannot afford to bypass or side line their female talent.
Women have campaigned long and hard to make the accepted unacceptable. Some men avoid women because of misplaced concerns about how their interactions will be perceived (gossip, innuendo). Others don’t want to moderate or change their own behaviour, even though it is unacceptable. This leaves organisations in trouble. They need to look for professional coaching and training support.
Check out our inclusive mentoring training to help guide you.
Mentoring: The Ultimate Guide
Since the #MeToo movement, 3Plus has talked to male mentors and updated our mentoring handbook. It now includes some suggestions and guidelines for men when they mentor women. Many of them are common sense. Others are precautionary.
As one male leader told me “Men who conduct themselves appropriately have nothing to worry about. If they don’t understand what behaviour is considered inappropriate today then they need to learn fast.”
You can download it for FREE here: Mentoring: The Ultimate Guide.
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Dates for the Diary
November 12th European Commission DG GROW
Informal talk on how to deal with sexism - 12.30 - 1400
November 25th Council of the European Union - Corporate Event
How to deal with sexism and harassment in the workplace
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