Improving corporate cultureAs the Me Too movement is spreading in society, companies are getting nervous. Blind, an anonymous social media platform for workers, is flooded with exposures of sexual harassment and corporate culture day after day.
When I had a conversation with businessmen about the atmosphere, one of them said, “So you should not meet with any woman other than your wife for dinner or drinks.” Another businessman said, “I am reluctant to have a cup of tea with a female employee. I am not organizing a team dinner that includes female workers.”
It is fortunate that superiors are being cautious in their relationships with subordinates. But it left me with some bitter feelings. They were looking at the countless women in and out of the workplace not as business partners but as someone who could get them into trouble. So should women only hang out with women and men socialize with men?
It is not just in Korea that people are growing extra cautious. In the United States, where the Me Too movement began, many men agree to the “Pence Rule.” U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said in the past that he would not have dinner alone with any woman other than his wife. In the United States, the remark was criticized as gender discrimination.
The Me Too movement is breaking sanctuaries and idols and is expected to bring changes in corporate culture. But it would be a loss to all if the changes lead to isolation of women at workplaces or regression in communication. Companies need to work to create a reasonable and transparent organizational culture.
*Industrial news writer of the JoongAng Ilbo