Is the #MeToo Movement Casting Ripples in American Workplaces?

A reasoned response to whether the high-profile #MeToo campaign focused upon sexual harassment is having consequences for workplaces in Connecticut and across the country must surely conclude with a resounding “yes.” The movement spawned in the wake of the notorious case details surrounding former movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has unquestionably put on-the-job sexual misconduct under a spotlight and engendered a healthy national debate.

Have material changes resulted from that new dialogue and the occasional targeting of high-profile figures for sexual misconduct, though? Has anything beyond cosmetic change emerged in workplaces that is healthy and long overdue?

Growing empirical evidence strongly signals that welcome adjustments in American work venues have indeed arrived. A recent poll authored by the national Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) stresses that “many powerful men have altered their behavior” in the Weinstein saga aftermath. A new clarion call of criticisms has prominently emerged regarding a long-held workplace status quo that has promoted disparate gender-based treatment and employment discrimination.

Notwithstanding that, though, the SHRM research underscores that the post-#MeToo effects haven’t been routinely salutary. An article on the organization’s poll findings notes that “changes [in many executives’ behaviors] may have gone too far in some instances.” Some upper-tier managers have admitted that they are “over-correcting” in ways that might isolate women employees from company engagement and meaningful opportunities.

Despite the mixed results thus far, it seems inarguable that the widely opening window on workplace sexual harassment is a good thing and will ultimately yield broadly positive results.

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