In order to be successful on Wall Street, ambitious financiers must be knowledgeable about a wide variety of topics — money, business, fleece vests, Equinox. And yet, there is one area that continues to befuddle them, and that is how to interact with women without harassing them.
According to Bloomberg News, many senior executives seem to be “spooked by #MeToo” and are “struggling to cope” with this brave new world in which women’s boundaries are respected. “It’s creating a sense of walking on eggshells,” said one such struggling financial adviser, who oversees over $1.5 billion in assets.
That doesn’t mean they’re not still managing to negatively impact women’s careers, though. In order to shield themselves from any potential misconduct allegations, many men across Wall Street say they’ve begun avoiding one-on-one meetings with female colleagues, refusing to have dinner with them and, per one wealth advisor, exercising caution about hiring women in the first place because they present “an unknown risk.”
“Women are grasping for ideas on how to deal with it, because it is affecting our careers,” Karen Elinski, president of the Financial Women’s Association and a senior vice-president at Wells Fargo & Co told Bloomberg. “It’s a real loss.”
As employment attorney Stephen Zweig pointed out, these men who are going out of their way to avoid a sexual-harassment complaint are going to walk “right into a sex discrimination complaint” instead.
Not sexually harassing your colleagues doesn’t seem that complicated to me, but then again we all have different areas of expertise; I don’t know anything about stocks, for example. So here are some hot tips for be-vested Wall Street bros confused about working with women:
• Don’t be a dick.
• Treat your co-workers with respect.
End of list. Please send me my $1 million consulting fee at your earliest convenience, thank you.