I loved this article that's been making the rounds on my facebook feed:
Despite the misleading title, it mostly describes situations that are all-too-familiar to those of us women who find ourselves in male-dominated environments.
Globally, childhood politeness lessons are gender asymmetrical. We socialize girls to take turns, listen more carefully, not curse and resist interrupting in ways we do not expect boys to. Put another way, we generally teach girls subservient habits and boys to exercise dominance.
As adults, women's speech is granted less authority and credibility. We aren't thought of as able critics or as funny. Men speak more, more often, and longer than women in mixed groups (classrooms, boardrooms, legislative bodies, expert media commentary and, for obvious reasons religious institutions.)
And a nice shout-out to the original mansplaining article:
This part in particular made me think:
Male bosses are not frequently talked over or stopped by those working for them, especially if they are women; however, female bosses are routinely interrupted by their male subordinates.
I've definitely witnessed this in my professional life, and it makes me nervous for my future. I'm starting out in my career, but I intend to be a leader of a team someday. I was thinking about the skills I need to work on when I realized that I've never really personally witnessed a female manager who I respected and thought was a really good leader.
Even out of all the male leaders I've worked with, I would say a very small percentage of them were truly effective leaders. I work in computers and the gender ratio is pretty terrible to begin with, so taking into account the low percentage of effective leaders, I'm not surprised that I haven't met any that happened to be female.
To fix this, I've started seeking out women in tech networking events. I've also started to talk about these issues with authoritative women I respect in other fields (teaching, law, medicine, etc). Finding female role models is like finding good female-focused literature or movies — you have to purposely seek it out. Since the majority of options out there are male, it's easy to unintentionally end up with an all-male experience.
I wanted to ask groupthink what they do in these situations since I know we have plenty of high powered women in diverse fields. Are you a manager or lead? Do you experience the things spoken about in the article? And if so, how do you deal with it? Do you think it seriously impacts your ability to lead effectively and get taken seriously?