If the #MeToo movement was a rock splashing into water, its spreading ripples would be notably pronounced. It is indeed impressive to see the material changes wrought by an initiative that is still arguably at an incipient stage.
MeToo launched with both fanfare and potency in tandem with the criminal investigation targeting entertainment titan Harvey Weinstein. The details surrounding that movie power broker’s alleged sexual misconduct against scores of women are now widely known. Their aftermath has been marked by the downfalls of many other high-profile males accused of sexual harassment and related behaviors.
Those stories and many newly emerging tales of a similar vein often feature MeToo involvement to a prominent degree. That energized engagement marked by victims feeling a new sense of empowerment is having a profound effect in workplaces across the country, including in Ohio.
That is to say, business executives and managers – predominantly males – are feeling pressure that is driving changes in both their personal conduct and their companies’ formal programs addressing workplace harassment.
Much of the change – which is markedly steady and unfolding – is of course strongly positive and long overdue. A recent article on the subject matter stresses, for example, that many businesses “have revamped their sexual harassment training” in the wake of the country’s new dialogue on wrongful workplace behaviors.
Relevant on-the-job-linked research cited in that piece also notes, though, that developments haven’t all been positive, especially for some women employees who are strongly focused on career advancement. A recent poll of more than 1,000 male executives indicates that many of them are “over-correcting and leaving women out of business decisions or mentoring opportunities.”
Some unevenness in response and results is perhaps to be expected in the wake of a seminal awareness movement targeting a bona-fide problem of vast dimensions in American workplaces. Things are sorting themselves out in what one human-resources principal terms “an open conversation.”
That the discussion is “open” is critically important, of course. Hopefully it will lead to broad-based outcomes that truly promote equality and fair outcomes in work venues across the country.