Fearing a #MeToo reckoning of their own, men in high-level Wall Street positions are finding ways to avoid spending time alone with female colleagues—a move that could cost women valuable networking and mentoring opportunities, according to a Monday report from Bloomberg News. Bloomberg interviewed over 30 male senior executives, and found that many expressed concerns about spending time alone with women in the workplace. “It’s creating a sense of walking on eggshells,” one executive said. Many men have developed some version of Mike Pence’s infamous rule: Don’t have dinner with any woman who isn’t your wife.
But women say that the shift has caused men on Wall Street to become even more insular, shutting them out of critical opportunities in their careers. “Women are grasping for ideas on how to deal with it, because it is affecting our careers,” a senior vice president at Wells Fargo & Co told Bloomberg. “It’s a real loss.” “If men avoid working or traveling with women alone, or stop mentoring women for fear of being accused of sexual harassment,” an attorney added, “those men are going to back out of a sexual harassment complaint and right into a sex discrimination complaint.” But other male executives have decried the idea that men can’t be alone with their female colleagues. “Just try not to be an asshole,” one said.