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New Wall Street Attitude in #MeToo Era Could Set Back Gender Representation

By InHerSight

All across Wall Street, men are adopting the mindset that it’s better to interact with women as little as possible in order to minimize the risk of sexual harassment accusations—a dangerous sentiment that could lead to gender segregation in the workplace. Over 30 interviews were conducted with senior executives and revealed that many are terrified of the #MeToo movement in a way that's “creating a sense of walking on eggshells,” according to former Morgan Stanley Managing Director David Bahnsen.

Wall Street is already viewed as a Boy’s Club with few women in top management positions, and this mentality of tiptoeing around women will only send Wall Street further spiraling into a boy’’s club. Stephen Zweig, an employment attorney for FordHarrison, thinks that what should really happen is an open conversation about harassment in the workplace—in other words, these men should tackle the issue head on instead of succumbing to paranoia. “If men avoid working or traveling with women alone, or stop mentoring women for fear of being accused of sexual harassment, those men are going to back out of a sexual harassment complaint and right into a sex discrimination complaint,” said Zweig.


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