A recent study, led by researchers at the University of Houston, has revealed the unintended consequences that have arisen following the growth of the #MeToo movement.
In responding to the study, 19% of men said they were reluctant to hire attractive women, 21% said they were reluctant to hire women for jobs involving close interpersonal interactions with men (e.g. jobs involving travel), and 27% said they avoided one-on-one meetings with female colleagues.
Although those questioned for the study were based in the USA, this study highlights the continuing difficulties for all employers in managing sex discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and the importance of not only having robust equality and diversity policies and procedures in place but also educating employees to prevent these type of issues from arising in the first place.
“Most of the reaction to #MeToo was celebratory; it assumed women were really going to benefit,” she says. But she and her research colleagues were skeptical. “We said, ‘We aren’t sure this is going to go as positively as people think—there may be some fallout.’”