Karma really is a bitch
Male executives are too afraid to help their female colleagues in case they are accused of sexual harassment, a new book claims.
In the book, Sex And The Office, US-based research scholar Kim Elsesser says women are missing out because their more senior male colleagues are reluctant to befriend or mentor them in case their actions are misinterpreted.
She says this 'sex partition' prevents women from reaching top corporate positions, with male bosses fearful of even holding a one-on-one meeting with a woman in a more junior roles in case they 'slip up'.
'They’re afraid that an offhand remark will be misinterpreted as sexual harassment or that their friendliness will be mistaken for romantic interest,' her book's description states.
Dr Elsesser, who lectures at University of California, Los Angeles, says as a result, women are missing out on networking opportunities enjoyed by their male peers. [Didact: this may also have quite a lot to do with the fact that the male idea of "networking" involves bars, golf, and strip clubs- things which women are notably disinterested in, as a general rule.]
The academic, who has also worked as a quantitative equities trader at Morgan Stanley, says attempts to increase awareness of sexual harassment over the last 20 years have left male workers fearing they could be accused of harassing female colleagues, so instead only befriend other men in the workplace.