Diversity

Why Don’t Women Talk More

Stereotypically speaking, women talk a lot. Statistically speaking, men talk more – at least within professional settings. Men tend to speak more frequently, loudly and dominantly than their female colleagues, which has effectively silenced many women in the workplace.

The Hazards of Speaking While Female

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Wharton business professor Adam Grant in a recent New York Times op ed Speaking While Female highlight the reasons that women tend to stay quiet at work. They walk a “tightrope” when they do speak at work because they are “[e]ither . . . barely heard or . . . judged as too aggressive.” However, Sandberg and Grant also note that, “When a man says virtually the same thing, heads nod in appreciation for his fine idea.”

The tendency for men to take credit for an idea put forth by a woman has been termed “bropropriating” and the unnecessary interruption of a woman by a man has been termed “manterruptions by columnist Jessica Bennett in 10 ways women can avoid ‘manterruptions’ in meetings. Although Bennett’s terminology may sound colloquial, the concepts she describes are well-recognized among social scientists.  READ MORE

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