Give Women the Space to Contribute in Meetings


Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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In the ideal meeting, all attendees participate, contributing diverse points of view and ideas. But few meetings live up to that. Multiple studies have shown that women are interrupted in meetings far more often, and their ideas are taken less seriously.

o To make sure you’re getting the most from all participants, take unconscious bias seriously.

o Foster a culture in which both men and women are encouraged to “call it out” when they see someone being inadvertently silenced in a discussion.

o Enlist progressive men to lead by example, and hold them accountable for allowing their female counterparts to contribute.

o You can balance the playing field with ground rules such as “no talking over each other,” or by going around the table when you’re seeking input on a critical decision.

o Most important, take the worst offenders aside and point out their behavior — they may be unaware of it.

Adapted from “Run Meetings That Are Fair to Introverts, Women, and Remote Workers,” by Renee Cullinan

To check out that HBR article and join the discussion, please click here.

Also, you may wish to check out an anthology, Management Tips from Harvard Business Review, by clicking here.

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