Men on Wall Street are taking to cutting women completely out of their professional lives in order to avoid possible sexual harassment accusations.
Women. We’re a pain. First of all, we get crazy ideas like calling out a systemic culture of sexual abuse across all sorts of industries. And when we create an uncomfortable mess of high-profile allegations and a tide change in culture, we expect men to rectify their own behavior. I mean, honestly, it would be far easier if we just didn’t exist.
Well, Bloomberg recently revealed that in the wake of the #MeToo movement, some men are attempting to make this a reality, at least on Wall Street. Senior figures in finance are reportedly weaning women out of the workplace because they’re scared of being in the same space as us. The article details how these finance men are going “out of their way” to avoid women in the office, adhering to advice along the lines of, “No more dinners with female colleagues. Don’t sit next to them on flights. Book hotel rooms on different floors. Avoid one-on-one meetings.”
For some men, simple interactions with colleagues have become a minefield. In order to avoid any nasty accusations or uncomfortable collisions with HR, men are seeking peace of mind by sweeping potential issues under the carpet—the presence of women in the workplace included. One anonymous wealth advisor told Bloomberg that, these days, just hiring a woman is considered an “unknown risk.” Another repeats the advice given to him by his (attorney) wife: “No business dinner with a woman 35 or younger.”
Clearly, the piece exposes some of the more extreme ways of curtailing sexual harassment, and no doubt these men are fine with interacting with their female friends or older colleagues without facing a flurry of allegations. But the whole thing hints at a paranoia that’s beginning to set in about gender equality. How can you be sure that you’re doing the right thing if the other side changes the rules? Thing is, women haven’t changed the rules. We’re just double checking everyone knows them.