September 7, 2022

You shush

It goes without saying that it is nearly impossible to have your best day at work if those around you are struggling. One sure way to help elevate those around you is to value their perspectives. In their book, The Silent Sex: Gender, Deliberation, and Institutions, two college professors, Christopher F. Karpowitz and Tali Mendelberg revealed some super helpful and executable research related to women’s perspectives in the workplace.

In a large study the authors learned that in group settings women speak up 3/4 of the time that men do - which is unacceptable as missing voices means missing perspectives. In fact, when you put a woman in a meeting with four men, 70% of the interruptions women face are negative. C’mon dudes, shut it! So how do we truly value women’s voices and perspectives in the workplace? The authors offered several compelling and research based suggestions:

  1. Men need to be aware of group dynamics and be “quiet at times.”
  2. Women - speak up! Our voice is critical.
  3. Leaders - watch group dynamics and ensure that all have equal speaking time.
  4. Watch out for stereotypes where men and women are supposedly naturally experienced in certain areas and topics. It’s false and, frankly, discriminatory.
  5. Change the rules - when women are outnumbered in a group, make decisions based on unanimous rule.

The authors found that women thrive in cooperative settings and the outcomes are better. Make a few changes and help those in your team all have best days - it not only leads to better results, but it feels good to do the right thing.

Your friends at BestDayHR