- The Washington Times - Monday, December 3, 2018

Male executives on Wall Street are so spooked by the #MeToo movement that they’re avoiding women altogether, a Bloomberg report said Monday.

Interviews with more than 30 senior executives suggest that the #MeToo movement has led to “gender segregation” in the workplace, Bloomberg reported.

“It’s creating a sense of walking on eggshells,” one adviser told the publication.

Another said just hiring a woman these days can present “an unknown risk.”

“Women are grasping for ideas on how to deal with it, because it is affecting our careers,” said Karen Elinski, president of the Financial Women’s Association and a senior vice president at Wells Fargo & Co. “It’s a real loss.”

The Bloomberg piece calls the phenomenon the “Pence Effect,” a reference to Vice President Mike Pence, who revealed in April 2017 that he avoids dining alone with any woman other than his wife.

Bloomberg reported that “many of the men interviewed acknowledged they’re channeling Pence, saying how uneasy they are about being alone with female colleagues, particularly youthful or attractive ones, fearful of the rumor mill or of, as one put it, the potential liability.”

The executives interviewed said they no longer have one-on-one business meetings with women or invite them to business dinners. Ron Biscardi, chief executive officer of Context Capital Partners, said he’s done away with his annual penthouse-suite party at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach to avoid any potential liabilities.

“Some men have voiced concerns to me that a false accusation is what they fear,” Stephen Zweig, an employment attorney with FordHarrison, told Bloomberg. “These men fear what they cannot control.”

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