Let Obama's Female Staffers Teach You How to Be Heard in a Male-Dominated Setting
"Amplification" is the new "lean in."
In a recent article with The Washington Post about the boy's club of Washington, D.C., female staffers who work for President Barack Obama revealed a strategy they adopted to ensure they were being heard in meetings that were typically two-thirds men — "important meetings" that the women say they had to "elbow" their way into to begin with.
The method, called "amplification," was the women's technique to make sure that their ideas were not only heard but acknowledged as their own. And it could seriously help you next time you find yourself in a male-dominated meeting where you don't feel recognized.
The Post elaborates:
When a woman made a key point, other women would repeat it, giving credit to its author. This forced the men in the room to recognize the contribution — and denied them the chance to claim the idea as their own.
According to ATTN, this isn't an imagined problem: Men "take up 75 percent of the time in an average professional meeting" and are "more likely to interrupt women to assert power."
The strategy worked, and Obama reportedly took notice enough to begin calling on more women in the room more frequently.
“We just started doing it, and made a purpose of doing it. It was an everyday thing,” one former Obama aide said.
Male bosses, take note.
Of course, amplification may be a short-lived necessity if Hillary Clinton cinches the election. The Post reports that, at times, Clinton had more females among her senior staff than men (Trump currently has three female senior staffers in his campaign), and if echoed in the White House, a Clinton presidency could mean female staffers don't have to play games to get heard.
"Not only would she break a gender barrier by winning the presidency, she also could bring in a female chief of staff — another first in the White House — as she did as first lady, as a senator and as Obama's secretary of state."
Now if only Hillary could find a way to end mansplaining...
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