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Why mentorship matters
Working Relationships in the #MeToo Era

Key Findings

For the last two years, LeanIn.Org and SurveyMonkey have partnered to understand what men and women are experiencing in the workplace.
Here’s what we learned.

Working Relations

Now more than ever, we need men to actively support women at work. Instead, they’re pulling back.

60% of managers who are men are uncomfortable participating in a common work activity with a woman, such as mentoring, working alone, or socializing together.1 That’s a 32% jump from a year ago.2

Senior-level men are now far more hesitant to spend time with junior women than junior men across a range of basic work activities.3 They are:

  • 12x more likely to hesitate to have 1-on-1 meetings
  • 9x more likely to hesitate to travel together for work
  • 6x more likely to hesitate to have work dinners

As for why this is happening, 36% of men say they’ve avoided mentoring or socializing with a woman because they were nervous about how it would look.

Now more than ever, we need men to support women—not isolate or ignore them.

Why mentorship matters

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment remains pervasive in the workplace—and there are dramatic differences in how women and men view the frequency and consequences of sexual harassment.

57% of women report that they’ve experienced some form of sexual harassment in the workplace, from hearing sexist jokes to being touched in an inappropriate way. And 24% of women say harassment is on the rise.

By contrast, 27% of men say that harassment is decreasing. And 50% of men say that the consequences are more damaging to the careers of harassers, not victims. Women tend to disagree: 64% say it’s the victims who end up paying a heavier price.

50 Ways to Fight Bias is an activity that helps you combat gender bias at work.

Fight bias at your company

Company Accountability

Employees say their companies are trying to prevent sexual harassment—but they don’t think it’s enough.

70% of employees now report that their company has taken action to address sexual harassment. That’s a significant increase from only 46% in 2018. And more than three-quarters of employees believe their company would thoroughly investigate a claim of sexual harassment.

Still, 1/2 of employees say that punishments are not harsh enough. And 3 in 10 employees think that high performers are never or rarely held accountable when they harass someone.

Read our Women in the Workplace report to learn how companies can take action

Get the report

Not harassing is not enough. We need men to support women’s careers. That’s how we’ll achieve a workplace that is truly equal for all.

— Sheryl Sandberg and P&G’s Marc Pritchard

Read the article in Fortune

Notes on Methodology

  1. This SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted February 22-March 1, 2019, among a national sample of 5,182 adults in the U.S. ages eighteen and older. The modeled error estimate is +/- 2 percentage points. Unless otherwise noted, all statistics are from the February 22-March 1, 2019 SurveyMonkey poll. Data for all surveys have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age eighteen and over.
  2. This SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted January 23–25, 2018, among a national sample of 2,950 employed adults. The modeled error estimate is +/-2.5% percentage points.
  3. This SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted March 6-10, 2019, among 3,556 adults with a modeled error estimate of +/- 2.5 percentage points.