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New Study Shows the Pence Effect Is Real:

Men are avoiding sexual harassment by opting for sexual discrimination instead.

When it comes to sexual harassment, Vice President Mike Pence takes a very different tack from our Commander in Chief.


Pence has said that he won't have dinner alone with a woman who's not his wife, and he also requests his wife's presence at any events where alcohol is present.

While many are fans of this very traditional sense of propriety, this antiquated approach rests on several problematic assumptions (that men are incapable of respecting women, chief among them) and causes several more issues:

  • How might a woman on Pence's staff be impacted if he meets one-on-one with all of his male direct reports, but refuses to do so with her?
  • When the majority of corporate leaders are men, how can women receive proper mentorship if men decide they can't be alone with women?
  • What happens if bosses invite their male staff members to happy hours and leave women out?

In summary: when men hold the power, finding excuses to create men-only spaces puts women at an inherent disadvantage.

In the wake of the #MeToo Movement, several prominent men on Wall Street said they were taking a leaf out of Mike Pence's book and avoiding time alone with women for fear that they'd be accused of sexual harassment (effectively punishing women for speaking up, and demonstrating that they were more concerned with being accused of sexual harassment than actually doing anything to stop sexual harassment).

Now, a recent study from the University of Houston has shown that the Pence Effect goes well beyond Wall Street. Men in a number of different industries are avoiding women at work, effectively swapping sexual harassment for sexual discrimination.

Study Results

The University of Houston study found that in the wake of the #MeToo movement, men are much more hesitant to interact with their female colleagues.

In early 2018, the researchers conducted a survey about sexual harassment in the workplace to ascertain men and women's attitudes about what constitutes sexual harassment, and the impact they thought the #MeToo movement would have on the incidence of harassment and behavior at work.

They then surveyed another group of people in 2019 to see how accurate the 2018 predictions had been, and the backlash was even greater than expected:

  • 19% of men said they were reluctant to hire attractive women
  • 21% of men said they were reluctant to hire women for jobs involving close interpersonal interactions with men (jobs involving travel, say)
  • 27% of men said they avoided one-on-one meetings with female colleagues
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Are women being unfairly punished for #MeToo? What do you think we should do about it? Tell us what you think in the comments.


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How Zapier Director of Compensation Jocelyne Wright-McLemore Is Tackling Imposter Syndrome as a Black Woman in HR

Jocelyne Wright-McLemore has a sticky note that she looks at every day: "I'm overqualified and I can do this."

Zapier's Director of Compensation put that sticky note up shortly after she rolled out a big new project at the online automation company and received some critical feedback on it. Though the criticism came from a tiny portion of her audience and the project was a success overall, hearing it brought back some of the self-doubt and imposter syndrome that she faced earlier in her career.

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Webinars

Meet PowerToFly's 2021 Diversity & Inclusion Award Honorees

This past February, PowerToFly was very proud to wrap up the panel portion of our recent Diversity Reboot 2021: The 100 Day Kickoff virtual summit by presenting our very first Diversity & Inclusion Award Show, honoring some true D&I champions across multiple industries

Back in 2020, we launched a submission process to honor select individuals who just don't talk the talk but truly walk the walk when it comes to making their companies and the world a more diverse and inclusive place. From the many submissions that we received, we chose six champions to honor.

You can watch the acceptance speeches for our honorees below or click here to watch the 45-minute awards show which included a roundtable discussion with our six DEI champions.

Want to nominated a friend or colleague for a future D&I Award? Submit their info here.


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How These 30 Companies are Celebrating Women's History Month in 2021

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But women have never had a year like 2020.

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Career Advice

How Hopin’s CCO Knew a Startup Environment Was Right For Her—and Two Questions to See If It’s Right for You

If there's a thread that connects all the different facets of Rosie Roca's life, it's the power of bringing people together.

From how she was raised, to how she got her first job, to the decision to leave enterprise software to take on her current role as the Chief Customer Officer at fast-growing events technology platform Hopin, a focus on community has helped to guide Rosie's decisions.

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