It’s been a full year since the allegations against Harvey Weinstein facilitated the #MeToo movement, and to say it has impacted how society views sexual assault and women’s roles in society is an understatement. For years, women have been afraid, shamed and ignored for calling out their assaulters. But now, the increasing number of women speaking out about their experiences of sexual harassment has led to more openness and support for the realities women face in and outside the workplace every day.
Since the news of Weinstein’s sexual harassment broke, at least 200 prominent men have lost their jobs over accusations of sexual harassment. Over 920 people have shared their experiences of sexual misconduct with one of these men, and nearly half of the men who were replaced were replaced by women.
In light of recent sexual assaults on campus, #MeToo, #TimesUp more important than everLast week, students were greeted with a crime warning in their university email inboxes from the University of Wisconsin Police Read…
What’s especially significant about the number of women taking men’s jobs, however, is that they’re doing so with great success. Research shows that women lead differently: they create better work environments where harassment is less likely to occur and where women feel more comfortable speaking out against it. Women in leadership roles also hire more women, promote more women and pay women more equally.
Women are even shown to lead companies to higher profits, probably because they can contribute great knowledge of what consumers want, considering women comprise the majority of purchases in the global economy. In government, women tend to be more bipartisan and work more collaboratively. They also are shown to advocate for more policies supporting women, children and social welfare.
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The main takeaway here is that putting women in positions of power can create more inclusive and successful work environments, leading to more collaboration and specifically encouraging openness regarding sexual assault. Considering that, currently, 1 in 5 women will experience sexual assault while in college, perhaps putting more women in leadership roles can help reduce the prevalence of sexual assault, especially on college campuses.
The success of women’s leadership speaks for itself: Some of the University of Wisconsin’s most successful student organizations are currently run by women. Both the College Democrats and the College Republicans have multiple women on their executive board, and PAVE, an organization dedicated to preventing sexual assault, consists mostly of women. There are also multiple organizations on campus exclusively for women, like the Association for Women in Communication, the Association of Women in Sports Media, Women in Business, and countless other organizations.
The reality is that women create more inclusive and more successful environments, and society could truly benefit from being exposed to more of women’s leadership skills. The fact that the U.S. has never had a female president opens up the debate of what a woman could really do for the U.S. government, and how having women in power could change the male-dominated system.
For now, the best we can do is continue to put women in as many leadership positions as possible, and encourage women to continue seeking positions of power. Research shows, after all, that women can be pretty amazing leaders.
Courtney Degen ([email protected]) is a sophomore majoring in political science and intending to major in journalism.