Women are still navigating the effects of male-dominated workplaces a year and a half after the rise of the #MeToo movement. A new study by LeanIn.org found 60 percent of male managers said they are uncomfortable interacting with women at work – up 32 percent from 2018. Workplace interactions that men are nervous about include mentoring, socializing and having one-on-one meetings.
, Lean In’s founder and Facebook’s chief operating officer, said on “CBS This Morning” on Friday the survey results indicates “we’re in a bad place.”
“Sixty percent of male managers in the U.S. – 60 percent – are afraid to have a one-on-one meeting with a woman,” Sandberg said, to which Gayle King immediately asked, “How do you get promoted without a one-on-one meeting?”
Exactly Sandberg’s point. She went on to explain that senior men who were surveyed are also nine times more likely to hesitate to travel with a woman and six times more likely to hesitate to have a work dinner.
“The problem is that even before this, women – and especially women of color – do not get the same amount of mentoring as men, which means we’re not getting an equal seat at the table, and, you know, it’s not enough to not harass us. You need to not ignore us either,” Sandberg said.
Sandberg called men’s fear a “false trade-off” and pointed out that many of the scenarios they are concerned about can happen in public spaces.
“If there’s a man out there who doesn’t want to have a work dinner with a woman, my message is simple: Don’t have one with a man. Group lunches for everyone. Make it explicit, make it thoughtful, make it equal,” Sandberg said. “Men need to step up. We need to redefine what it means to be a good guy at work. It’s not enough to not harass, and I think too many people think that’s sufficient. That’s necessary, that’s a basic, but it’s not sufficient.”
But it’s not just about how men act around women in the workplace. It’s also about how men and women’s work gets assessed. Sandberg cited a recent study of performance reviews that found 66% of women got feedback on how they work, their style, while less than 1% of men did.
“So women are getting feedback that they’re too bossy, too aggressive… and men are getting feedback on their work. And that’s one of the reasons why men get more promotions,” she said.
Lean In’s message, Sandberg said, is simple: mentor more women so that they can be promoted to senior roles.
“In a public restaurant having a lunch or dinner, I don’t really think you can get falsely accused of something. And so I think men need to step up and they need to say in order to get women promoted those women need the same coaching, the same feedback, the same opportunities that men get,” she said.
Sandberg also addressed the public’s distrust of Facebook following numerous scandals, including the company’s role in Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election and concerns about users’ privacy as well as a scathing op-ed earlier this month from Chris Hughes, one of Facebook’s founders. Hughes called on regulators to break up the company, arguing that the social media giant has become too big to fail and too big to care.
Sandberg said she and CEO Mark Zuckerberg are dedicated to earning back the trust of its users and doing the work to fundamentally change how the company is run.
“We have massive teams in place whose whole job is to protect people’s privacy, protect elections, go through our systems and find something,” Sandberg said. “We understand that we made mistakes and that things happened on our service that we didn’t foresee. We never foresaw Russian interference in the 2016 election. Full stop. And that’s on us. But what happened by 2018? By 2018, we understood foreign interference. We now find it and take it down so much that the media doesn’t even cover it. And if you look at all the things people wrote about us after 2018, it was actually still about 2016. So we’re going into the 2020 election. We have war rooms in place, we have a working relationship with the FBI and Homeland Security.”
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