The cultural reckoning started by the #MeToo movement is here to stay, according to entertainment attorney Nina Shaw, who is a founding member of the Time’s Up campaign against sexual harassment.
“I think there’s a bunch of guys waiting for this to be over. It’s never going to be over,” Shaw said during a panel at SXSW on Sunday about the future of the workplace.
Shaw was joined onstage with philanthropist Melinda Gates, Hearst Magazines chief content officer Joanna Coles, and Stacy Brown-Philpot, who is the CEO of TaskRabbit, an on-demand marketplace of gig workers.
The conversation turned to the importance of men as allies to women in the workplace.
Gates, who previously worked at Microsoft, said she’s worked with “many great men.” But she said men can’t use the #MeToo moment as an excuse to avoid interacting with women, especially in the technology investing world, where relationships are crucial to careers.
“We can’t keep building from the same old blueprint that created the Old Boys’ Club,” Gates said in a keynote talk prior to the panel. “What you can do is insist on equality in the workplace. It can be part of every single conversation that you have inside of the place you work.”
If women are disadvantaged in networking, it also means they’re disadvantaged from raising venture capital for their startups, from rising to the executive ranks of companies, from joining corporate boards, and more, the women discussed.
“There are great men in Silicon Valley who are thinking about this and are being allies,” said Brown-Philpot, who previously worked at Google for nearly a decade. “This is an invitation to be an ally. … Take everybody to drinks. Take everybody to lunch instead of drinks. Include women in the conversation, don’t shy away and be afraid.”
Shaw said Time’s Up recently embraced male allies. Each Time’s Up member invited as many as five men to a forum at UCLA about harassment.
“About 200 men showed up,” Shaw said.
Speaking of allies, Coles asked Shaw about a donation from actor Mark Wahlberg to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund. The fund provides legal support to those who’ve been harassed across all industries.
“Yes, Mark has written that check,” Shaw said.
Wahlberg’s $1.5 million donation came after the revelation that he was paid $1.5 million to reshoot scenes for the movie “All the Money in the World,” while Michelle Williams made about $1,000, or $80 a day. The issue highlighted the gender pay gap between men and women.