Want male co-workers to stop interrupting women during meetings? Tired of having your lady ideas ignored when you express them but celebrated when a man does? These things happen all the time to women in the workplace and are responsible for the lack of gains women have seen in the corporate world.
It's time to fight back, but how? Kathleen Edison, a New York designer and graphic artist, distilled the strategies for combatting "manterruption" and "bro-priation" in a handy little chart to share with family, friends and workplace allies (even—no, especially!—male ones).
Edison distilled strategies from Jessica Bennett's Time magazine article "How Not To Be Manterrupted in Meetings." First, let's define the terms.
"My friends have come up with terminology for it: 'Manterrupting.' 'Manstanding.' (Or 'talk-blocking,' if you want the gender-neutral version.) And the result? Women hold back. That, or we relinquish credit altogether. Our ideas get co-opted ('bro-opted), re-appropriated ('bro-propriated'?)—or they simply fizzle out. We shut down, become less creative, less engaged. We revert into ourselves, wondering if it’s actually our fault. Enter spiral of self-doubt," Bennett writes.
So what can we do? It starts with looking inward. And then reaching out to others.
Step 1: Check your own sexism.
Step 2: Make a no-interruptions rule.
Step 3: Stop interrupters on others' behalf, as well.
Step 4: Find a buddy, work in teams.
Step 5: Support female colleagues.
Step 6: Practice being assertive.
Step 7: Support companies headed by women.
It will take men and women to make sure everyone's voices are heard. This advice also works for co-workers who might be ignored or overlooked due to their race or backgrounds. Turns out, 'whitesplaining' is a thing, too.