The World Economic Forum at Davos brings together some of the richest and most powerful people in the world. Which means much of the global elite is all gathered in one place should you want to, say, call them out for making climate change worse, or ask them questions about how they conduct themselves.
So The New York Times took the opportunity to see how the people on the top of the heap were handling life after the #MeToo movement. And it seems like the message many Davos attendees have adopted is less "how can I prevent this" and more "how do I not get sued." From the article:
“I now think twice about spending one-on-one time with a young female colleague,” said one American finance executive, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the issue is “just too sensitive.”
“Me, too,” said another man in the conversation.
The article goes on to explain that "#MeToo has become a risk-management issue for men." As a result, those men are withholding their professional experience and refusing to mentor women. And the feedback doesn't just come from men. The article quotes several women who research and advise corporations on gender issues and female leadership, and they note that their clients are refusing to be alone with women at work or even to assign women to one-on-one projects with male co-workers.
It begs the question what kind of mentoring these executives were providing that it could be so easily confused with sexual harassment, but those questions never come up in the article. In fact, we never really get any kind of description at all of what sort of mentoring these executives are now refusing to give their underlings. Digital-media consultant Heidi Moore is skeptical that the men in question were providing any mentoring in the first place, tweeting: "It's important to understand that a lot of rich, prominent men rarely or never interact w/ women they're not in financial control of: Wives, or employees, or mistresses. They literally have no frame of reference for a professional woman with independent ambitions." The article continues:
Of the Fortune 500 companies, just 24 had female chief executives in 2018, down from 32 a year earlier. While the number of female heads of government has more than doubled since 2000, they still make up just six percent, according to data from the United Nations.
Meanwhile, actress Tessa Thompson is advocating that actors and producers do exactly the opposite of the anonymity-demanding executives at the World Economic Forum. Reportedly, of the top 100 highest-grossing movies of 2018, only four were directed by women, and Thompson is calling for people in the industry to commit to working with more women directors to at least double that number for the next year. Celebrities like Reese Witherspoon and Jordan Peele have already said they're on board. It's a lesson that when women demand to not be sexually harassed, there are more options for men than to just run away to private treehouses or absurdly posh Swiss ski towns.