LeanIn.Org is launching a new campaign, #MentorHer, to encourage men to guide women.
The call to action comes as the organization reveals results of a survey showing an emerging backlash to the #MeToo movement — with nearly half of male managers surveyed saying they "are now uncomfortable participating in common work activities with women, including working alone and mentoring."
LeanIn.org — which was co-founded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to promote gender equality in the workplace — sponsors an online community, promotes educational materials, and runs peer groups called Lean In Circles. The latest initiative aims to connect women with "the high-quality mentorship that advances careers." At LeanIn.org/mentorher, the organization explains why male mentorship matters, and how men can be effective mentors and treat men and women equally. The organization says that when organizations employ more women, sexual harassment is more prevalent.
The study — conducted by LeanIn and Survey Monkey — finds an impact from the reports of sexual harassment on male managers. Since the harassment reports started surfacing, the male managers are twice as uncomfortable working alone with a woman. It said the percentage of male managers who are uncomfortable mentoring women has more than tripled from 5 percent to 16 percent. This means that 1 in 6 male managers may now hesitate to mentor a woman.
In support of this initiative, Sandberg is taking the stage at the Makers conference in Los Angeles to discuss it. She's also encouraging people to post with the #MentorHer hashtag. A number of CEOs are signing on — with LeanIn President Rachel Thomas co-authoring an open letter published in The Wall Street Journal with the CEO of TaskRabbit, Stacy Brown-Philpot.
Here are the results of the online survey of 2,950 employed adults, conducted from Jan. 23-25:
#MentorHer – Survey findings
LeanIn.Org and SurveyMonkey partnered to understand what men and women are feeling in the wake of the widespread media reports of sexual harassment. Here's what we learned: