Speaking While Female: A Synopsis

First, I'll be honest.  When Suki and I originally set out to start a women's group we planned to leverage Lean In.  The reasoning was simple, Lean In is and has been doing amazing things for women in the workplace.  It is empowering, exciting, positive and forceful.  But then, we thought about the potential in starting something new, tailoring our group to our city, giving our own spin, crafting our own logos.  Mod Nashville was born.

It is with that introduction that I pass along Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant's "Speaking While Female: Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant on Why Women Stay Quiet at Work."  This article is the second in a series devoted to women in the workplace, articles that seek to give advice and make clear a problem.  The statistics the two provide as examples make you want to gasp out loud and with that introductory force they provide hard science to back up their theories on how to approve workplace behavior.

For this article the statistic is as follows, "Male executives who spoke more often than their peers were rewarded with 10 percent higher ratings of competence. When female executives spoke more than their peers, both men and women punished them with 14 percent lower ratings."  Essentially, women who say they don't speak up in meetings because they'll be shot down have proof in their perspective.

Their suggestion?  (It is almost so simple to seem like it won't work, but don't fret, I have faith!)  Make it clear that in your office meetings, everyone has a say and ensure no one is interrupted.  Long term, give more women leadership roles to encourage equality in voice.  Simple.

To read the full article, head over to The New York Times.


Kirsty Hughan is the co-founder of Mod Nashville and founder of Seamless Marketing, which provides marketing services such as copywriting, website design and project management to small businesses, startups and agencies.