Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Weinstein Affect

My years in avoiding commitment has led me to have issues, both good and bad.  But it has enabled me to remain independent in ways that I am very relieved and yes very lucky as few women my age can have such.

As I begin to take on writing in a larger scale one of the reasons I elected to look in and pursue self publishing is that I don't have the time left to play the waiting game.  Part of me knows that in my professional life I suck at networking, politics and most importantly diplomacy.  I can and do all of it when I have to but I am an uber control freak and ultimately if I write the book, I will publish, sell and do the heavy lifting. And I am not afraid of that in the least nor hiring those to assist me.  The only rule is they must be women and I must get along with them if not like them.   Women need to learn how to work together and in turn lead together.  I have had few women mentors and in reality found few women I respect.  In fact I can only think of two women I have worked for and have utter respect for and they are as different as day and night - Wanda Judd and Vicki whose last name I cannot remember but was my Manager at Macy's in San Francisco who hired me in the watch department when I was newly divorced and who listened to my concerns and actually implemented my requests to show her what I could do and it would be win win.  Trust me that was not easy and she has since long left the store and I hope and wish her well.  Wanda was an amazing broad and never did I meet a more interesting woman and wonder where she is today.

I have worked with many women who were horrific and in the same bank I worked with Wanda I worked for and with Janelle who cheated on her husband with her boss whom she later married.  I saw more sexual harassment and abuse by the women at that bank than any porn movie set it was that bad.  The bank closed and was sold and this does not shock me given how badly it was run and managed.  They have resuscitated that name a few years ago and it has nothing to do with the Green family who owned and ran the bank into the ground and funny the name was People's Bank.  It was anything but good for people.

Since I have worked in Education I cannot say which is worse as frankly few schools are good.  It is a systemic problem of dysfunction and bureaucracy that we are first introduced to as children and dependent upon that experience it can scar you for life.  I only became a Teacher late in life and yes sexual impropriety is rampart there and not just Student-Teacher, but Teacher-Teacher and Teacher-Admin.  I can truly say I have never fucked any Student, Teacher or Administrator and the thought sickens me at different levels for entirely different reasons.

And when I read the recent salvo  The New York Magazine, by Ronan Farrow, a man with his own struggles regarding family sexual boundaries, in The New York Magazine about Harvey Weinstein and further allegations in The New York Times, I had to wonder if Bill Cosby is an amateur in comparison to this predator?

But the repercussions of this will be far worse than someone losing their fame or well paying gig. Women are already marginalized and if the GOP continue to get their way we will be in the kitchen knocked up or caring for babies as they want us out of sight and out of mind, breeders like the Handmaids Tale if Mike Pence gets his way.  The reality is that most Americans feel the same way. 

We are now dealing with race, sex and gender in perhaps the most tumultuous time in history in the way they believed it would be under the Obama Presidency. Nope instead it is under a fat fucking white guy who is utterly paranoid, angry and the epitome of all of what we thought we had left behind is in fact very much in the present.  And so is everyone else.

Women welcome to the new world its the old one with Mad Men, repressed rage and more hidden pregnancies.  Gays you are in the closet and Blacks you are saying, "Yes boss." Latinos and Asians well you figure it out.  Man we are fucked and even Harvey at least offered a meal.

Unintended Consequences of Sexual Harassment Scandals

Claire Cain Miller
The New York Times
October 10 2017

In Silicon Valley, some male investors have declined one-on-one meetings with women, or rescheduled them from restaurants to conference rooms. On Wall Street, certain senior men have tried to avoid closed-door meetings with junior women. And in TV news, some male executives have scrupulously minded their words in conversations with female talent.

In interviews, the men describe a heightened caution because of recent sexual harassment cases, and they worry that one accusation, or misunderstood comment, could end their careers. But their actions affect women’s careers, too — potentially depriving them of the kind of relationships that lead to promotions or investments.

It’s an unintended consequence of a season of sex scandals. Research shows that building genuine relationships with senior people is perhaps the most important contributor to career advancement. In some offices it’s known as having a rabbi; researchers call it sponsorship. Unlike mentors, who give advice and are often formally assigned, sponsors know and respect people enough that they are willing to find opportunities for them, and advocate and fight for them.

But women are less likely to build such relationships, in part because both senior men and junior women worry that a relationship will be misread by others. At every level, more men than women say they interact with senior leaders at least once a week, according to research by McKinsey and the nonprofit Lean In. This imbalance is a major reason women stall at lower levels of companies, according to a variety of research.
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Recent Comments
meg 22 hours ago

Here's a tip for avoiding accusations of harrassment: Don't ask colleagues to watch you shower or sleep with you. Easy!!
bellcurvz 22 hours ago

what a shock! we get blamed for men's out of control urges to power and we pay the price again. Who could have thought this? lol...this is...
DCinSC 22 hours ago

This is some cowardly excuse-making. If anything, recent events have shown us that you can be a powerful executive and sexually abuse people...

See All Comments

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“We found that they avoided one-on-one contact because they were fearful of gossip, or the suspicion that a standout female on a team is sleeping with the team leader,” said Sylvia Ann Hewlett, founder and chief executive of the Center for Talent Innovation, a research firm that has studied sponsorship.

She noted that sponsors “have to spend some capital and take a risk on the up-and-coming person, and you simply don’t do that unless you know them and trust them.” But these relationships are crucial, she said, for “getting from the middle to the top.”

Certain workplaces have become more tense in recent months, after high-profile sexual harassment cases at Fox News, in venture capital and elsewhere, and after the vulgar comments about women by Donald J. Trump that emerged during the presidential campaign. Most recently, accusations against the movie mogul Harvey Weinstein caused him to be fired.

The Society for Human Resource Management, an industry group, said it saw a spike in questions from members about sexual harassment in March — when cases at Uber, Fox News and military academies were in the news — and in August, when harassment surfaced again at Fox, in Silicon Valley and elsewhere.

In some cases, the heightened awareness has improved people’s behavior. “People are more sensitive to how they conduct themselves, because they’ve seen what can happen,” said a male executive in the news and entertainment industry, who spoke anonymously because of the same heightened caution over the topic that is in the air in some workplaces. “That’s presented a better working environment.”

But elsewhere, men have begun avoiding solo interactions with women altogether. In Austin, Tex., a city official was formally reprimanded last month for refusing to meet with female employees, after he ended regular mentoring lunches with one.

Some tech investors have taken similar steps. “A big chill came across Silicon Valley in the wake of all these stories, and people are hyperaware and scared of behaving wrongly, so I think they’re drawing all kinds of parameters,” said a venture capitalist who spoke anonymously for the same reason.

Some are avoiding solo meetings with female entrepreneurs, potential recruits and those who ask for an informational or networking meeting.

“Before, you might have said, ‘Of course I would do that, and I will especially do it for minorities, including women in Silicon Valley,’ ” the investor said. “Now you cancel it because you have huge reputational risk all of a sudden.”

Sometimes women avoid solo meetings with men who have made them uncomfortable or have bad reputations, as when female executives brought colleagues to meetings with Mr. Weinstein.
Credit Calypso Mahieu

It has not happened in every workplace, of course, and depends in part on company culture and employees’ trust in human resources to appropriately deal with harassment. In interviews with people across industries, many said interacting with members of the opposite sex was a nonissue. People were warier in jobs that emphasized appearance, as with certain restaurants or TV networks; in male-dominated industries like finance; and in jobs that involve stark power imbalances, like doctors or investors.

Dr. Mukund Komanduri, 50, an orthopedic surgeon with a practice outside Chicago, said he avoids being alone with female colleagues, particularly those he does not know well or who are subordinates.

“I’m very cautious about it because my livelihood is on the line,” he said. “If someone in your hospital says you had inappropriate contact with this woman, you get suspended for an investigation, and your life is over. Does that ever leave you?”
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He mentioned a hospital colleague who lost his job because of harassment allegations. “That individual has created a hypersensitive atmosphere for every other physician,” he said. “We basically stand 10 feet away from everyone we know.”

Even before the recent attention on harassment, the practice of avoiding solo meetings with colleagues of the opposite sex was not uncommon. It could mean not sharing in cabs, travel, lunches, projects or get-togethers over coffee, and not meeting behind closed doors.

Nearly two-thirds of men and women say people should take extra caution around members of the opposite sex at work, and about a quarter think private work meetings with colleagues of the opposite sex are inappropriate, according to a poll conducted in May by Morning Consult for The New York Times.

The effect on women’s careers is quantifiable, research has found.

Women with sponsors are more likely to get challenging assignments and raises and to say they are satisfied with their career progress, according to data from the Center for Talent Innovation. Yet 64 percent of senior men and 50 percent of junior women avoid solo interactions because of the risk of rumors about their motives, according to a survey by the center.

Good sponsors also give candid, difficult feedback, and women are less likely than men to receive it, McKinsey and Lean In found.

Megan Ketchum, 37, recently got a promotion to sales leader at LinkedIn. It’s a job that required new skills, and she said she got it largely based on the trust and friendship she’d built with leaders on her team, who were all men.

One of them regularly invited her to go for walks and grab coffee. “Trust does get built through intimacy and understanding others and sharing values,” she said. “That comes from interactions that are one-on-one, and not super formal in a conference room with an agenda.”

The dynamic affects racial and other minorities in the workplace, too. “Sponsorship is so often a mini-me — straight white guys sponsoring younger straight white guys,” Ms. Hewlett said. By getting to know people who are different from them, leaders can avoid playing favorites — which can happen if sponsorship isn’t done well and which can hurt office morale.

One way to encourage these relationships is to have more people at the top of companies who are not straight white men. In interviews, women in companies with many female or gay executives were more likely to say one-on-one relationships had never been an issue for them.

Another way is for companies to explicitly support relationship-building meetings. Some companies, for instance, have designated a certain restaurant where senior leaders take protégées for breakfast or lunch. “Once you see it happening out in public, then it becomes the norm,” said Laura Sherbin, director of research at the Center for Talent Innovation.

She added, “If you don’t want people to judge you when you go out with a senior leader, don’t be someone who judges another person.”

It helps when leaders talk about their families, introduce junior employees to their spouses or invite them to their homes, researchers said.

And would-be sponsors and would-be sponsorees can build relationships in daily moments in the office, said Lareina Yee, a senior partner at McKinsey who studied the issue with Lean In.

“It’s walking down the hallway, it’s seeking the opinion of others, it’s catching someone after a meeting,” she said. “It may be an unintentional blind spot, but it’s something you could start changing on a Monday morning.”

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