Updated: Jul 18, 2019
A staggering 60% of male managers admitted that they are uncomfortable when taking part in a common work activity with a female, such as mentoring, working alone or socialising together. This is a 32% increase on last year’s statistics.
Given that men still dominate senior management, the opportunity for females to network with their male counterparts is tantamount to their professional success. Instead, they are being deliberately overlooked in a vast number of cases.
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and founder of LeanIn says, “It’s not enough to not harass us, you need to not ignore us, either.”
Following LeanIn’s study, Forbes delved further into the issue to discover the reasoning behind this shocking statistic. The result? Fear. Fear of sexual harassment issues. Fear about what other people in the office might think. Fear of misinterpretation of friendliness on behalf of the female.
However, this fear is unfounded. Continually, the idea has been socially perpetuated that false allegations of sexual harassment are common, and the accused suffer greatly. Yet, research orchestrated by the Home Office suggests that only 4% of cases of sexual violence reported to the UK police are found or suspected to be false. European and US studies show rates of between 2% and 6%. In reality, the majority of male management have little to fear but their own conscience.
While the glass ceiling concept has existed for years, it now appears there is another barrier to women, stopping them from reaching the heights of corporations. It seems that even if the glass ceiling were to miraculously shatter, women would be left on the ground staring at the sky they can’t reach, hoping a magic bean might appear to catapult them into the heavens. Unfortunately, magic beans don’t exist. But ladders do. And men have the ability to extend these ladders down to their female counterparts, helping them to climb the rungs to upper management.
TEDxBrayfordPool 2018: Fearless speaker Ruchi Aggarwal considers that not only can the glass ceiling be a barrier, but so can the sticky floor. See here talk here.