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Why is Female Participation in Virtual Meetings Not Valued?

Have you ever heard about manterruption? This is when men interrupt women unnecessarily. It happens every day, everywhere, especially in virtual meetings.

The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou

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Due to the pandemic, this phenomenon has increased significantly to the point that women feel discouraged to speak up on Zoom calls.

The term manterruption describes the machista behavior that consists of interrupting women when speaking because of their gender. It is based on the belief that women do not have as much knowledge or culture as men and that, therefore, the contributions of a man are more interesting or relevant.

Researchers at Brigham Young University found that the gender dynamics shutting down women remain prevalent, especially in the workplace.

A recent report by Catalyst in the US shows that "45% of women business leaders say it's difficult for women to speak up in virtual meetings."

"He's the boss, but she's bossy." The negative way women are perceived at the office is widespread. However, many female heads of state are working to lead their countries out of the COVID-19 crisis, playing a visible and crucial role in this global battle.

The Pressure of Being a Woman on Zoom

For women, it seems virtual meetings in the work-from-home world create a different kind of stress when it comes to how they look.

Although both men and women want to look as professional as possible, there is an extra effort required from women to put a little makeup on and don't wear clothes that catch too much attention.

This happens because society always pushes women a lopsided beauty standard in which they have to look perfect. Consequently, all these standards have been driven by a male-dominated society that pressures women now that they are at home busier than ever.

Is Digital Medial Helping Women to be Heard?

The internet is a vast platform for women to speak up and come together to achieve gender equality. Despite men still interrupt women with a firm tone and a loud voice, digital spaces should be used to put on the table discussions in which every part can talk and be heard with respect.

Also read: ARE WE AWARE OF THE IMPORTANCE OF DATA IN OUR LIFE?

Women's pressure in a Zoom meeting is very similar to the one they feel at the office. It's up to the person talking to ask kindly to be heard and their colleagues to support her.

According to the study, "one in five women say they've felt ignored or overlooked by colleagues during video calls." Consequently, they also feel that it's harder for them to get promoted, especially during the pandemic.

Bropropriating

This is the practice in which men take credit for women's ideas or achievements. An excellent case of this is Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, which many researchers suspect may be founded on mathematical principles from his first wife, Mileva Marić.

A useful strategy for debunking prejudices is to practice the amplification of someone else's speech, that is, to highlight and repeat the key points of an idea giving credit to whoever presented it in the first place. And for the women speaking up, the axis will be not to be ashamed of their contributions, to say them out loud and with a gesture that accompanies their speech.

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