Too many powerful men are sayng they are afraid of even professional involvement with women. That such claims are made is hardly news. Male professors may even cite such worries to explain why their mentees are all male. Even years ago. It is partof the history of discrimination.
From the NYT:
The #MeToo movement, which burst into the spotlight in the fall of 2017, bringing down powerful figures in Hollywood, the media, politics, sports and more, continues to reverberate 15 months later. It has empowered women to speak up about harassment in the workplace and forced companies to take the issue more seriously. More than 200 prominent men ven explain have lost their jobs, and nearly half of them were succeeded by women.
But in one unintended consequence, executive and analysts say, companies seeking to minimize the risk of sexual harassment or misconduct appear to be simply minimizing contact between female employees and senior male executives, effectively depriving the women of valuable mentorship and exposure. Strong grant organizations – like NSF – try to combat the exclusion of women. It is very hard.
It may be the deeper problem is that too many men are not motivated enough to act in the interest of women in their field.