As the Kavanaugh hearings played out, it was clear that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s voice was ignored.
So many women we work with express the frustration that their voice is ignored as well, not in a political forum but in the workplace. They’ve put in the hours, earned the credentials, put on the uniform, taken on extra projects, risen up through the ranks. And yet, in meetings they are talked over, their time for presentations is cut in half, their projects get fewer resources, their ideas are stolen. And when they speak up about the inequity, they are marginalized.
None of this is new.
The lack of respect toward women’s voices that we heard surrounding the Kavanaugh hearings is played out in the workplace every day. And unfortunately, by the time many women come to us, they are at a point where they have internalized the messages from these disrespectful environments. Instead of laying the blame on those who are being disrespectful, they tell us that they feel like they have done something wrong or that they feel “crazy”.
We strategize with women in the workplace and empower them to find ways to have their voice be heard.
One strategy to begin with is to form an alliance. This can be with a man or a woman. You work together and support one another in meetings and behind the scenes. That means when your ally is talked over in a meeting, you can speak up and say, “Michelle was just saying something, and I want to hear the rest of her sentence.” Or, “That is a great point; Michelle made that same point earlier in the meeting.“ You can give credit to your ally on social media, company blogs, in conversation, and at meetings. You have her back, and she has yours.
Your voice is valuable and you need to be heard.
*(credit to San Francisco-based artist John Mavroudis for Time cover art)