Girl Power: White House Female Staff Uses New Strategy To Stop Being ‘Manterrupted’By Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
The White House is still predominantly male. Fortunately, women have been able to get their foot in the door and work with the most important person in the nation. However, there are still times when they get "manterrupted" in meetings while voicing their opinions.
"Manterrupted" refers to when women are sharing their ideas, in a meeting for example, and then a man says the same thing and acts as if he is the right source of the suggestion. It's even worse if the man gets credited for it. "Manterruption" also happens when a woman is talking to a man and he stops her in the middle of her sentence then proceeds with sharing his opinion without letting the lady finish what she has to say.
There are times when calmly stating that you have not finished what you were saying works. However, a different strategy would be needed in a room full of men where women are a minority.
The Washington Post reported that female staffers at the White House have adopted a new meeting strategy called "amplification." To do this, other women would repeat a key point that is made by their female colleague. This would force the men in the room to lend credit to the contribution and, at the same time, denying them the chance to claim the suggestion as their own.
"We just started doing it, and made a purpose of doing it," a former aide of Obama said. "It was an everyday thing."
The source revealed that President Obama noticed. Moreover, since then, he has been calling on women and junior aides more often.
In a report by The New York Times, it was noted that powerful women often stayed quiet because they were punished, by both men and women, with 14 percent lower rankings of competence. This is a far cry from men who spoke more often than their peers, who were rewarded with 10 percent higher ratings of competence.