Be alert for and don’t perpetuate biases against women or anyone who may not feel comfortable speaking up.
Women’s contributions to meetings often aren’t acknowledged. Multiple studies conclude that women are interrupted more often in meetings and their ideas taken less seriously than men.34 We see it in meetings and on award shows (recall Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift after she won a Grammy). This behavior is so common that there is now a word for it: mansplaining, when a man interrupts a woman to explain something that the woman knows more about than he does. If this happens in a meeting, stand up for your colleague by reinforcing what she said and giving her due credit for her idea.
Ask about establishing meeting ground rules to level the playing field:
• Don’t allow people to talk over each other
• Go around the room to get everyone’s input on a critical decision
• Keep track of who has spoken and call on those who have not before giving someone a second opportunity
If there are issues with people assuming a male subordinate is in charge, or one of your male colleagues takes credit for someone else’s ideas, be willing to have an uncomfortable conversation early (and often).
In addition to the gender-pay remediation at Salesforce, CEO Marc Benioff instituted policies to require that 30% of the meeting participants be women,35 with an express goal to increase women’s leadership and likelihood of promotion.
Do what you can to bring women to the table and into the spotlight.
We can help young women – or women new to the sector or organization regardless of age – build leadership skills by inviting them to events as our guests, encouraging them to write blogs and articles, suggesting them as speakers on panels, and nominating them for awards. This can help address another gender gap. Less than 15% of the millions of quotes shared every day are quotes attributed to women and girls.36
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish