Women in California and all over the world are feeling more empowered thanks to the #MeToo movement. This phenomenon has resulted in many women admitting they have experienced inappropriate and unwanted touching, sexual harassment and sexual assault from men in the workplace and beyond. While many are hoping this will result in more equality for women, the reality is sadly it may have made things worse for women and their chances of landing jobs of high importance.
ABC Action News talks about why a former CEO thinks this movement is going to take women backwards in their careers. He said that some CEOs are currently making decisions that will prevent them from potentially getting accused of wrongdoings in the future. These changes include not taking meetings with women unless others are present. The fear is hiring decisions will be made based on gender, which means that equally qualified women may be passed over due to the fear of future repercussions.
According to the Harvard Business Review, this change is also occurring in the finance industry, with women coming up as the losers. Some men in power have confessed that they would choose not to manage women or hire them due to the #MeToo movement. Because women only make up one-quarter of the executives in Wall Street, females may suffer in the long run. There are more male applicants which makes it easy for employers to choose them over their female counterparts. This also makes it extremely difficult to prove discrimination in hiring or promotion situations.
What is the answer for women who want true equality? It is hard to say, but being open about how this movement has changed workplace culture in a negative way, and having more conversations about how men have been affected, may be a good start.