Why Women Get Interrupted, How to be Heard

Girls are trained from an early age to listen more than talk.  Is it any wonder that we get interrupted by others while in the midst of sharing an idea or suffer the indignity of others taking credit for what we just articulated?

This article from Soraya Chemaly published in the Huffington Post – “10 Words Every Girl Should Learn” – is a bit tongue in cheek, but it does capture something most women have experienced in the workplace.  Are women’s comments taken as seriously as men’s?  I think it depends on the credibility of the speaker and the method of communication.  I just read an article stating that more people die from injuries sustained in female named hurricanes than male named hurricanes.  At first blush, I thought this was because of a weird coincidence that female named hurricanes are stronger and more dangerous than male named hurricane … but no, the authors state that people do not take as seriously evacuation warnings issued for hurricanes with female names as they do hurricanes with male names.

One could get disheartened by this seemingly ingrained prejudice, so why is it any surprise that women’s comments are not as valued as men’s.  In the end, however, women must take responsibility for being heard and help others listen to what other women say.  We must be advocates for ourselves AND for other women who are in the same meetings as we are, experiencing the same frustrations.

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