What is the Pence Effect?

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The Vice President of the USA, Mike Pence, has unleashed a controversy around the #MeToo movement, leading to the creation of the Pence Effect

What is the Pence Effect?

The vice president of the United States, Mike Pence, has made headlines on the streets of Wall Street due to his controversial statements that misinterpret the #MeToo movement.

Leer en español: ¿De qué se trata el efecto Pence?

Measures pro women or against them?

The #MeToo movement has had a great reception worldwide since thousands of women have reported suffering some type of harassment in their different work environments. However, as the newspaper La Silla Rota points out, some United States executives have taken the interpretation of this movement very far, to the point of distorting it.

For example, this  warns that characters like Mike Pence have decided to take measures such as:

"Choose separate seats on flights if traveling with a colleague, if you are staying in the same hotel as the rooms are on different floors and avoid private meetings alone"

Well, in fact, the decisions of this prominent politician have led to the so-called Pence Effect, which is to avoid any contact in public or private places with women other than those promised or wives, as stated in the financial magazine Bloomberg.

These restrictions are taking the ideals of the #MeToo movement too far, and the fear of being involved in sex scandals is causing indirect discrimination against women. What does this mean?

Read also: Cyber Abuse: how is it being handle?

Discrimination in high positions

It is clear that the Pence Effect is designed to avoid gender abuse, but it can possibly lead to discrimination in the workplace.

For example, the Argentine portal Notife stated that: "Given the prevalence of men in higher positions, an immediate consequence seems to be the reaffirmation of the trend, since executives do not want to be mentors of women"

But these "preventive" measures is going way beyond. This means that one of the areas with the most men, and at the same time the narrowest for women, is the financial system.

In addition, Notife regarding the financial item reported that: "For a long time the culture of maintaining the complaints of harassment away from the courts and the public eye was nurtured, and until now has avoided a mega-scandal like the one that devoured Harvey Weinstein "

On the other hand, the Executive Director of La Salle Security, Lisa Kaufman, declared that the so-called Pence Effect is generating a negative effect for the executive women of the future, due to the barriers that are being placed in the workplace; and also this official indicated that men should not be carried away by fear, according to the interview conducted by Bloomberg.


Segregation following #MeToo

Businessmen fear being falsely accused of committing sexual assaults, but it is convenient to clarify that, in many cases, women are the victims and not the victimizers.

This vision is shared by some entrepreneurs, for example, one of the managers interviewed by Bloomberg He said that at the beginning he avoided having meetings with young people, he tried to keep the door open or to be in the presence of third parties to avoid inconveniences.

At the end of the interview, this person argued that these positions were stupid and all men had to do was respect their employees.

Given this, the actions of the workers of Wall Street generate a significant restriction to women, because the little access they had in the financial sector could be endangered by reducing the recruitment of women and prefer men in these positions. Therefore, the solution is not to segregate a genre, but on the contrary, to respect it as a pair.


LatinAmerican Post | Miguel Diaz

Translated from "¿De qué se trata el Efecto Pence?"