NYC Officials School Men of Wall Street on How to Work With Women in #Metoo Era

Senior officials at the New York City Mayor’s office have some thoughts for those Wall Streeters unsure of how to behave around colleagues in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Alicia Glen, the deputy mayor for housing and economic development, spent a dozen years at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. before joining the De Blasio administration. In response to a Bloomberg report that some men in finance have taken to avoiding their female counterparts at any cost, Glen and three colleagues—also former Goldmanites—wrote a letter to the editor describing the behavior as “ironic and sickening.”

Read the full letter here.

“If men at Wall Street firms are incapable of the simple act of having dinner alone with a woman without making fools of themselves, then those men pose a financial and cultural liability to the company,” they wrote.

Here’s what they suggest:

“Men in these firms should be required to break bread with female colleagues —especially the up-and-coming ones of whom the men in the article were so afraid. Because so many major career conversations take place during casual interactions like grabbing a coffee or a beer or going to karaoke, it has never been more important to ensure women are ‘in the room where it happens.'”

“Leadership—both men and women—must start to think of mentorship and sponsorship as part of their job description. Get a mentee (of a different gender) and start giving guidance! Give them the space to shine and promote them in meetings, especially among senior management.”

“And a note to men seeking to rise up the ranks: Be as eager to earn the notice and esteem of women leaders as you are of men. Power is power, no matter who holds it.”

The letter’s other signatories are Lindsay Greene, the city’s senior adviser for economic development, and Carl Rodrigues and Sonam Velani, both of whom are senior advisers for housing and economic development.

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