Equal Participation in the Workplace

Studies show that compared to men – women talk less in meetings, make fewer suggestions, are interrupted more and given less credit for their ideas.

Overall – women have less influence in the workplace than men – even at the very same job level.

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Have you ever noticed at a meeting how men gravitate towards ‘front and center’ seats while women often take their seats at the end of a table, or edge of the meeting room?  Women tend to shy away from sitting in places that convey a position of power – and of course this can affect their level of overall communication and thus performance.

It is important to watch for these things in your workplace and encourage full participation from all members of the group, male and female.

Often it can help to pair women up with one another, giving them another participant who encourages and advocates their ideas and input.

Also, be sure that when women do share, that you make an effort to reinforce good ideas and show appreciation for these shared opinions.  The more women are actively communicating in the workplace – the more the entire team benefits from the full dynamic of the group.

What are some other ways you’ve encouraged employees to be equally influential in the workplace?

This blog was inspired by: Gina Bianchini, CEO of

Mightybell & co-founder of LeanIn.Org


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