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In the first 26 minutes of the US Presidential Debate alone, Trump interrupted Clinton 25 times; in the total debate more than 50 times. This did not go unnoticed on Twitter.
The phenomenon of women getting unnecessarily interrupted in work meetings is so common it has a name: “manterrupting.”
Studies show when women speak up at work, they are more likely to be interrupted and less likely to be credited for their contributions. As a result, women speak up less than their male counterparts.
We all exhibit unconscious gender bias. Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant phrased it as follows:
“When a woman speaks in a professional setting she walks a tight rope. Either she’s barely heard or she’s judged as too aggressive. When a man says virtually the same thing, heads nod in appreciation for his fine idea.”
I have two more self-explaining new words for you:
- Mansplaining: A term to describe when a man patronizingly explains something to a woman, under the supposed assumption that she couldn’t possibly understand because she’s a woman;
- Bropriating: When a man takes credit for a woman’s idea at a meeting.
Putting a funny or sarcastic name to bad or dominant behavior can be empowering for women, but it is clear there’s still a lot of work to do regarding communication diversity & equality.
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So I’m finally sitting in a meeting room with my boss. I hadn’t been able to talk with her for a few weeks now (which was getting pretty frustrating), so what I wanted to get out of the discussion had been changing quite a bit. She waits for me to take the lead. I decide to take a meta-level approach.
“I’m glad we have chance to talk. It feels like we’ve been… kind of … at odds with each other,” I confessed. “Maybe it’s me – I’m so keen to see progress and push forward in a ‘dynamic’ way that when the brakes go on, it’s difficult to understand. Then, at the same time, it seems you’re holding things back to prioritise ‘excellence’ in our work. Should we be rethinking those values together?” Continue reading