The gender pay gap is a complex and an often emotionally fraught issue for both women and men, and for the companies who employ them. It’s natural that no one wants to believe that they are treating people unfairly, which is why the problem has festered for decades, and why so many argue fervently against the existence of the gender pay gap, despite mountains of data. By reading the real life experiences of women and families who have been impacted by the gender pay gap, perhaps we can start to move closer to solving the problem.
According to two national surveys from LeanIn and SurveyMonkey (one of 2,950 employed adults and the other of 5,907 employed adults), some men are reacting to the #MeToo movement by deciding to distance themselves from interacting with their female colleagues. The studies found that 45% of male managers report that they are now “uncomfortable” mentoring, working alone with, or socializing with junior-level female employees.
But while much has (and will) be written about these men, as well as the people who have enabled them, little mention has been made of how everyone else, everyone who wasn’t directly involved or affected, responds. It can be painful to learn horrible things about someone whose work you admire, and even worse when that person is a friend. But there are right and wrong ways to react, and mostly recently we’ve been seeing a lot of the wrong ways.