11 months ago
Back in the 1990s, when Harvey Weinstein was just known as a hot-shot indie producer, a group of women who worked at Bear Stearns met regularly to compare notes on navigating a male-dominated workplace.
Dubbing themselves the Glass Ceiling Club, a frequent topic were those male co-workers at the investment bank that posed a danger to women employees. They worked out precautions, such as staying on the trading floor to use crowds of witnesses for safety.
“Of course, our conversations would revert to sharing facts we knew about the men we worked with,” former managing director Maureen Sherry, a member of the group, told The New York Times. “Yes, it was mostly the same men who preyed on young women.”
That sort of “women’s whisper network” wasn’t unique to Bear Sterns. But with the cascade of sexual harassment reports in the wake of the Weinstein scandal, these groups have gained new traction. The internet has allowed for Facebook groups, shared Google documents and other means of sharing information on potential predators.
An app called Blind, for example, has given an outlet to employees from Google, Facebook, Amazon and other companies to trade, among other things, cautionary tales about sexual harassment.
“What we did have in common was that we were ambitious professionals with the common goal of a more equal place of employment and so yes, that included our perplexity over outrageous behavior that went unchecked,” Sherry recalled about her network.