Overcoming Gender Discrimination in Business: Reconsidering Mentoring in the Post #Me-Too and Covid-19 Eras

Ross School of Business Paper No. 1400

Forthcoming in 23 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law (2021)

45 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2020

See all articles by Ross School of Business RPS Submitter

Ross School of Business RPS Submitter

Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan

Cindy A. Schipani

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Terry Morehead Dworkin

Indiana University Bloomington - Office for Women's Affairs

Devin Abney

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: November 1, 2020

Abstract

Due to the #MeToo movement, awareness of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace is at an all-time high and the dividing line between the genders in the workplace may be at its greatest. Women, who were already at a significant disadvantage in corporate America prior to the movement now face increased exclusion by men in and outside the workplace. Worse yet, the harsh reaction to the movement may have caused men to become more skeptical of sexual harassment claims.

One of the responses to the movement is an outpouring of literature, both academic and popular, centering on the difficulties women face in obtaining mentors, sponsors, and other forms of advocacy in the post-#MeToo era. Many articles focus on the need for men to take an active role in using their privilege and position to assist women in breaking these barriers. Although the importance of mentoring women cannot be overstated, and the emphasis on men mentoring women is critical given the gender inequality among senior management, largely absent from the analysis is a discussion of the benefits that women, men, and society as a whole receive when women mentor men.

This manuscript explores this perspective, arguing that there should be a focus on providing opportunities for women to mentor men. It posits that women mentoring men may be essential for ultimately bridging the divide between the genders and helping to eliminate gender bias in corporate America. In addition, it addresses how the COVID-19 crisis demonstrates a need for female mentorship and provides an opportunity to redefine the mentoring relationship.

Keywords: women in leadership; gender discrimination; sexual harrassment; employment law; mentoring, leadership

JEL Classification: K31, K22, J71, M51, M54

Suggested Citation

RPS Submitter, Ross School of Business and Schipani, Cindy A. and Dworkin, Terry Morehead and Abney, Devin, Overcoming Gender Discrimination in Business: Reconsidering Mentoring in the Post #Me-Too and Covid-19 Eras (November 1, 2020). Ross School of Business Paper No. 1400, Forthcoming in 23 University of Pennsylvania Journal of Business Law (2021), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3732212

Ross School of Business RPS Submitter (Contact Author)

Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan ( email )

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Cindy A. Schipani

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States
(734) 763-2257 (Phone)
(734) 763-2257 (Fax)

Terry Morehead Dworkin

Indiana University Bloomington - Office for Women's Affairs ( email )

Bloomington, IN
United States

Devin Abney

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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