If you are in a decision-making position at your own organization, or if you want to advocate for change, take steps to create a more supportive workplace culture where employees can both do well at work and have a personal life. Small changes make a difference, like closer parking for pregnant employees, more casual dress policies, and being able to bring your pet to work. But more important are policies and procedures guaranteeing a fair pay and promotion system, paid family-leave benefits, job-sharing options, and safe working conditions. If you can help make these happen, do. If you aren’t in that kind of role, figure out who is and advocate for these policies.
Be alert for and don’t perpetuate biases against women or anyone who may not feel comfortable speaking up.
Women’s contributions to meetings often aren’t acknowledged. Multiple studies conclude that women are interrupted more often in meetings and their ideas taken less seriously than men.34 We see it in meetings and on award shows (recall Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift after she won a Grammy). This behavior is so common that there is now a word for it: mansplaining, when a man interrupts a woman to explain something that the woman knows more about than he does. If this happens in a meeting, stand up for your colleague by reinforcing what she said and giving her due credit for her idea.
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