career woman

Upwardly mobile career women on Wall Street say the #MeToo movement is hurting their chances to break through the glass ceiling.

According to a report on Bloomberg News, female executives on Wall Street say their male counterparts are avoiding being alone with them in their offices.

Women are too afraid to speak up, fearing that they may be blackballed by their male bosses who who don’t want to be falsely accused of sexual misconduct.

Bloomberg coined a term for the phenomenon: “The Pence Effect” — a reference to Vice President Mike Pence’s policy of not dining alone with a woman who is not his wife.

All across Wall Street men are adopting the same policy to spare their reputations and their jobs in the #MeToo era.

It’s creating a sense of walking on eggshells,” said David Bahnsen, a former managing director at Morgan Stanley.

According to, the #MeToo movement is doing more to reinforce the “boys club” atmosphere on Wall Street.

One female banker told Bloomberg that women are struggling to find ways to deal with the problem because “it’s hurting our careers.”

“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.”

Elinski said her male counterparts are afraid to travel alone with their female co-workers, or to attend business meetings at strip clubs.

“If men avoid working or traveling with women alone, or stop mentoring women for fear of being accused of sexual harassment, those men are going to back out of a sexual harassment complaint and right into a sex discrimination complaint,” said Stephen Zweig, an employment attorney with FordHarrison.

He added that top managers should take steps to be open about the problem and make it safe for everyone to discuss it.

Photo by Elie Bernager/Getty Images