The Number of Men Who Are Uncomfortable Mentoring Women Is Growing

#MeToo has shaken up the workplace. Good—it needed shaking up. A safer workplace for women is a better workplace for everyone. Still, we have a long way to go before the workplace is truly equal. To get there, we need men to support women’s careers. That means hiring women, giving them the stretch assignments that get them noticed, and promoting them. It means mentoring and sponsoring women—which in turn means spending enough time with them to really help them progress.

We wish we could say that more men are stepping up for women in these ways. In fact, the opposite appears to be happening.

New research by LeanIn.Org and SurveyMonkey reveals that 60% of managers who are men now say they are uncomfortable participating in common job-related activities with women, such as mentoring, working alone together, or socializing together. A year ago, that number was 46%. And senior men are now more hesitant to work with junior women than junior men across a range of activities. One-on-one meetings: senior men are 12 times more likely to hesitate to meet with a woman than a man. Business travel: nine times more likely to hesitate. Work dinners: six times more likely.

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