Comstock's magazine 0319 - March 2019 - Page 36

n LEADERSHIP SEXISM IS NOT EXTINCT What it looks like and how to respond BY Jessica Kriegel “I DON’T THINK WOMEN HAVE TO DEAL WITH OVERT SEXISM IN THE WORKPLACE ANYMORE.” My very kind male friend said those words a week pri- or to my writing this, as I was trying to pick a topic for this column. It occurred to me that many people may share his view that the age of overt sexism is over. Perhaps they believe that the Mad Men- esque days of Don Draper-types telling 38 | March 2019 their secretaries to go get the rolling pin ended years ago. My friend continued to opine that while bias and sexism may still exist, it is now either covert or consciously sup- pressed, because of the fallout from the #MeToo movement. The reverbera- tions of the #MeToo movement rippled throughout all aspects of life, and were particularly felt in the corporate world. Many of the executives that I coach con- fided their sense of trepidation as they examined any possible misstep in the changing landscape of business as no longer usual. One leader, for example, told me he was afraid he might make a harmless comment that could be misinterpreted as harassment. He described feeling like he was walking on eggshells whenever he in-