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In December I logged Corporate America’s next, regarding how the “Me, too” movement was going to catch up with corporate America, leading to lawsuits for sexual harassment.

Since then a bigger problem facing corporate America has resurfaced. As I’ve written a la nausea, my wife worked 30-years for Ford Motor Company from a plant -level Industrial engineer to the executive level. During that time, she endured the sexual discrimination and harassment. She experienced everything from perverts taping mirrors atop their shoes to look up her dress to verbal abuse. I rarely heard her complain about these types of harassment, but her main complaint during her tenure was regarding “the boys’ club.”

Since the days of cavemen, men have been huddled together to the exclusion of “outsiders” to protect their base of power and relieve their insecurities. They congregate together in tight groups to exclude outsiders. This might be productive in a tribal society, but it is unproductive, even destructive, in a corporate environment where productivity depends on teamwork.

My wife was an obvious “outside” to the Boys’ club at Ford. Besides being female, she’s five-ten; taller than the average male. Her B. S. I. E. from Purdue University and Masters in Managerial Engineering from University of Michigan, made her better educated than the average Ford manager.

I suppose she didn’t help her cause. She never felt comfortable going out with the boys for a beer after work. That’s not to say she avoided social functions. We both attended their social gatherings, making her marriage obvious.

The end result of being outside the boy’s club was that they often excluded her from the information needed to perform her job correctly, reflecting on her overall performance, and hurting the company. Add in the fact that she wasn’t receptive to sexual harassment, and it makes for a hostile work environment.

The boys’ club mentality caught up with some of my wife’s former coworkers last month. Several of them were named in a $17,600,000 lawsuit against Ford for managers bullying a middle-easterner who spoke poor English. My wife recognized all the engineers named in the lawsuit as men who’d harassed her. She believes this kind of attitude prevails throughout the company. It’s the kind of mentality that may lead to a corporation’s downfall.

Knowing men’s’ general attitude, I’m sure Ford isn’t the only work place made hostile by the exclusiveness of the boys’ club. This type of attitude is as difficult to eradicate and is as painful to the “outsiders” as the sexual harassment issues, What’s needed is a change in social thinking. Fortunately, both problems are based from the same source, male managers. The solution should involve the re-education and penalizing of these managers. Yeah, right. Good luck of getting them to police themselves. Maybe something will happen when it effects corporate profits and bonuses.