You’ve probably read a headline about it. That women talk less than men in meetings. That women have a harder time being heard, and therefore need to lean in. That even Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is manterrupted by her berobed male colleagues.
This week, Georgetown linguistics professor Deborah Tannen wrote a piece for MOTTO about how much women actually talk, and the truth about that Uber board member’s sexist crack. In defending the executive, Rush Limbaugh cited Tannen’s own research that found women do in fact talk more than men. Only hitch, and a big one: not at work. In the office, men dominate the conversation.
“It would be misleading to imply that women tend to talk less at meetings entirely by choice,” writes Tannen. “Another reason is that they’re given the floor less often and, when they do get the floor, are interrupted more.”
Tell me about the last time you were talked over—or better yet, the first time you found your voice.
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