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Why mentorship matters
Working Relationships in the #MeToo Era

Key Findings

LeanIn.Org and SurveyMonkey partnered to understand what men and women are experiencing in the workplace in the #MeToo era in the UK.
Here’s what we learned.

Read the US Findings

Working Relations

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

40% of managers who are men are uncomfortable participating in a common work activity with a woman, such as mentoring, working alone, or socialising together.1 That’s a 33% jump from how they felt before the widespread media reports of sexual harassment.

Senior-level men are also 2x more hesitant to spend time with junior women than junior men across a range of basic work activities, including one-on-one meetings, travelling for work, and business dinners.

Meanwhile, 1/3 of women have noticed that senior men have been less likely to interact with them at work or socialise with them outside of work during the past two years.

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 big differences in what women and men feel is happening.

64% 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 19% of women say harassment is on the rise.

By contrast, 28% of men say that harassment is decreasing. And 42% of men say that the consequences are more damaging to the careers of harassers, not victims. Women tend to disagree: 72% say it’s the victims who end up paying a heavier price.

Sexual harassment is one form of gender discrimination holding women back at work. Take steps to combat everyday forms of gender bias at your company.

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.

51% of employees say their companies have responded to the #MeToo movement by taking action against harassers, updates to their policies, or offering employees guidance or training. This means 1/2 of employees cannot say that about their companies.

More than 3/4 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 30% of 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

We need to raise the bar on what’s expected for men at work. Don’t harass us — but don’t ignore us either.

— Sheryl Sandberg, Sunday Times STYLE Magazine

Read the feature

Notes on Methodology

  1. This SurveyMonkey online poll was conducted April 15–26, 2019, among a national sample of 5,951 full-time or part-time employed adults aged eighteen and over living in the United Kingdom. The modeled error estimate for the full sample is +/-2%. Data have been weighted for age, gender, education, and geography using U.K. Census data to reflect the demographic composition of the United Kingdom age eighteen and over. Unless otherwise noted, all statistics are from the April 15–26, 2019 SurveyMonkey poll.