Mentorship is crucial in the #MeToo era

Refusing to mentor female leaders is detrimental to organisational success

Mentorship is crucial in the #MeToo era

Executive leaders may be “moving in the wrong direction” when it comes to empowering women in the #MeToo era.

Three in five male managers on average, or 60%, are ‘uncomfortable’ mentoring women, according to the latest workplace survey by Lean In and Survey Monkey. That number is up from 46% last year.

Male senior leaders are said to be 3.5 times more likely to avoid having a work dinner – and five times more likely to avoid going on a business trip – with a female junior executive than a male one, new data revealed.

This hesitation to include women in professional activities, such as one-on-one meetings and social functions, may potentially lead to more women being excluded from growth opportunities.

“Whether this is driven by sexism or because men (perhaps unconsciously) gravitate toward helping other men, the result is that women miss out,” the analysts said.

In the #MeToo era, employee mentorship remains crucial:

  • Women are said to be 24% less likely than men to receive advice from senior management
  • Women of colour (62%) cite the absence of a strong leader to mentor them as a hindrance to their career advancement

Senior leaders as mentors

“Mentorship is critical to the success of women across industries,” the analysts wrote in a report that aims to encourage more leaders – especially men – to step up and take on the role of mentor.

“If fewer men mentor women, fewer women will rise to leadership. As long as this imbalance of power remains, women and other marginalised groups are at greater risk of being overlooked, undermined, and harassed,” they said.

Mentorship is integral for women to rise through the ranks. “When more women are in leadership, organisations offer employees more generous policies and produce better business results. And when organizations employ more women, sexual harassment is less prevalent,” the analysts said.

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