60 percent of male managers "uncomfortable" mentoring female co-workers

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Reluctance from senior male workers to mentor female co-workers has increased in the last year.

Above video: The Frant - Gender wage gaps come down to choice

A new US survey, conducted by LeanIn and SurveyMonkey, has found that 60 percent of male managers feel uncomfortable mentoring, working one-on-one or even socialising with women in the workplace.

Now in its second year, the survey showed that the animosity from men towards women in US workplaces has more than doubled since 2018.

Over 5,000 men and women participated in the 2019 survey.

When asked why they avoided mentoring or socialising with women at work, 36 percent of men said they were nervous about how the attention would reflect on their reputation.

The survey results revealed that, when it comes to female co-workers, senior-level male managers are;

  • 12 times more likely to hesitate to have one-on-one meetings

  • Nine times more likely to hesitate to travel together for work

  • Six times more likely to hesitate to have work dinners

Sexual harassment in the workplace

Participants were also questioned about the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace in the 18 months since the #MeToo movement.

Twenty-four percent of women said they felt workplace harassment is on the rise, in contrast to the 27 percent of men who said they have observed it decreasing.

Half of all men surveyed said that when it comes to sexual harassment, the consequences are more damaging to the careers of harassers, not victims.  

Women thought differently, with 64 percent saying that the victims pay a heavier price for reporting harassment.

Encouragingly, 70 percent of employees now report that their company has taken action to address sexual harassment. An increase from 46 percent in 2018.

Still, half of employees say that punishments for offenders are not harsh enough.

Ripple effect in Australia

A 2018 report released by Australia’s Art of Mentoring, revealed that the #MeToo movement is having an effect onAustralian workplaces.

One quarter of men surveyed as part of the report said that they were either “a little” (18 percent) or “very” (7 per cent) uncomfortable interacting with female co-workers post #MeToo.

Working alone (15 percent), attending evening events (13 per cent) and socialising (12 per cent) are the activities that cause men the most discomfort, especially following the #MeToo publicity.

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