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  1. Blog
  2. Research
  3. July 30, 2019

Has the #MeToo Movement Improved the Workplace for Women?

We asked women, and the response was split

Has the #MeToo Movement Improved the Workplace for Women?

We asked more than 1,000 women about whether they believe the #MeToo movement has improved the workplace for women.

Answers between the negative and affirmative were split almost exactly down the middle.

Just over 50 percent of women say it has improved the workplace not at all or not very much, while just over 49 percent of women say it has improved the workplace somewhat or absolutely.

The phrase me too, in regard to sexual assault or harassment, was used as early as 2006, though it was not until 2017, following accusations of sexual assault and misconduct against film producer Harvey Weinstein, that the phrase was widely used and adopted as the moniker for identification of and resistance to sexual violence and harassment and the silencing of survivors, specifically in the workplace.

Since this movement gained traction in 2017, major cases of sexual harassment, assault, and misconduct; boys’ club cultures; and discriminatory practices against women; have been exposed across industries, companies, politics, and among specific people in power in the United States abroad. Perhaps one of the most high-profile cases is that of Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics coach who has been convicted of sexually assaulting minors, many of them his patients.

While the #MeToo movement may be credited with the exposure, prosecution, and conviction of many perpetrators as well as the resignation of those accused, a response has come from the other direction. Sixty percent of male managers say they are afraid to be alone with women at work, with many refusing to offer mentorship to female coworkers. Many women continue to be fired or laid off or otherwise silenced after reporting incidents of misconduct in the workplace; others are publicly humiliated.

While more women may be coming forward to report assault and misconduct and, in some cases, taking legal action, pushback to the movement continues.

Methodology

Survey of 1,112 women in July 2019.

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Photo of Emily McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza

Emily McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza

Content Strategist, InHerSight

Emily is on staff at InHerSight where she researches and writes about data that describes women in the workplace, specifically societal barriers to advancement, and workplace rights. Her bylines include Fast Company and The Glossary Co.

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