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Have Cleveland men stopped mentoring women since #MeToo movement?

August 30, 2018

Have Cleveland men stopped mentoring women since #MeToo movement?

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Women need mentors at work.

Employees with mentors are often promoted faster and earn more money. As a benefit for the company, mentoring helps retain talented employees. It can teach them new skills and motivate them to work harder.

But research shows that men are less likely to mentor women in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

A January 2018 survey by the LeanIn Foundation and Survey Monkey found that since the emergence of sexual harassment complaints across professions and the country 16 percent of male managers are uncomfortable mentoring women. That’s three times as many as before the movement.

We know the backlash happening in Northeast Ohio. Shatter on Wednesday asked if men have stopped inviting women to socialize after hours. We plan to keep asking about slights, to take the pulse of what’s happening in Cleveland businesses.

by herrimanjoe.From Visually.

Sure, we need more women mentors. But men still hold far more power in the corporate, political and academic realms. Professional men and women should also be able to meet and mentor, without fear of retribution.

LeanIn is pushing more men to mentor women, with the #MentorHer campaign launched in February.

“The last thing women need right now is even more isolation. Men vastly outnumber us as managers and senior leaders, so when they avoid, ice out, or exclude women, we pay the price,” Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and founder of LeanIn.Org, said in a news release then. “Men who want to be on the right side of this issue shouldn’t avoid women. They should mentor them.”

David G. Smith and W. Brad Johnson repeatedly called out “dudes” in the Harvard Business Review: “Self-aware and thoughtful male mentors who intentionally and conscientiously mentor both women and men will find that their mentees enjoy more promotions and higher salaries, more job satisfaction and commitment to the organization, and ultimately more self-worth and career eminence. Similarly their organizations are better positioned for future success, enjoy more creativity, and find their bottom-line outperforming the competition.”

What do you think?

Women, tell us if you’ve been shut out of mentoring. Men, tell us if you’ve chosen not to mentor women, and why. We will not use names or specific details without your permission.

Email Laura Johnston at ljohnston@cleveland.com.

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