After #MeToo, how much has changed for women at work?
Not much has changed for women in the workplace, despite the rise of the Me Too movement, according to a new study by LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company. It looked at nearly 300 companies, surveyed more than 64,000 employees and concluded that women still face sexual harassment at work.
“As the new CEO of Time’s Up, Lisa Border, said, ‘You can’t boil the ocean and you can’t do it fast.’ There is a lot that still hasn’t changed. And so part of what we see is this sort of stubbornness in corporate America with gender dynamics that we always have. And then there are some real signs of change,” CBS News contributor and New York Times investigative reporter Jodi Kantor told “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday. “My colleagues just reported that out of the 200 or so men who lost their jobs as a result of these allegations, about half were replaced by women. So that’s real change right there.”
Kantor co-wrote thefor the Times, which helped spark the Me Too movement nationwide.
Women also remain under-represented at every level, especially women of color, the study found. Kantor said women of color are “fighting a war on two fronts.”
“They’re confronting two sets of stereotypes. And one of the things the study discusses is the problem of only-ness and how hard it is to be the only something in a room, for instance the only black woman, and what a burden that really puts on you,” Kantor said.
Sexual harassment and workplace inequality also “feed each other,” according to Kantor.
“On the one hand we now see that there are many women who have actually been harassed out of the workplace, and we also see that harassment is a reflection of problematic gender dynamics that already exists. It kind of reflects a world in which men have all the power and women are afraid to even speak up,” she said.
Based on the Times’ reporting, Kantor said “there actually may be more openness to change in some ways in the corporate world than the political one.”
“It’s true that the official numbers by this study show that not much has changed, but attitudes have changed in corporate America. Who’s an acceptable job candidate, who’s considered risky? Is it the woman who might get pregnant or is it a man who might be accused of something negative, as my colleagues pointed out in an article yesterday,” Kantor said. “In politics, things can feel so stuck. And as we saw with the Kavanaugh nomination, sometimes these allegations can feel like they just become fodder for a partisan war instead of being a really serious elevated discussion of the issue.”
What would Kantor say to the men who are concerned about their positions in the workplace?
“Probably welcome to the club because I think women have had that fear for a long time,” Kantor said. “So much of gender progress is about kind of the equal sharing of not only privilege but also anxieties and burdens between women and men. So if, you know, if there is more anxiety on the parts of men in the workplace, that is probably the counterpart to something that women felt for a long time.”
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