Meeting Survival Guide for Women

file691263254605Women who attend meetings with men are often frustrated by the sexist dynamics in the room. Some men tend to interrupt, repeat women’s ideas as if they were their own, explain things they don’t really understand, and just generally not listen well. Women often want to advocate for themselves, but it can be hard to know what to say. And it can get wearisome saying the same thing over and over again.

So, as a public service (and because my friend on Facebook asked for it and I’m trying to put off doing real work), here is a four-week rotation of phrases women can use in meetings when men seem to be taking over.


Monday: Please listen to me.

Tuesday: That idea was much more interesting five minutes ago when I [or a female colleague] said it.

Wednesday:  . . . And your time is up. My turn.

Thursday: I realize you were talking. I just thought we were doing that thing where we interrupt each other with redundant comments.

Friday: Well bless your heart.


Monday: I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people will listen to me.

Tuesday: I do have a masters degree in that area, but if you read a Wikipedia article, by all means, share your insight.

Wednesday: Based on my calculations, the men have used up their share of the speaking time for this meeting. Women, let’s get stuff done.

Thursday: Knock, knock. [Who’s there?] Me. [Me who?] Me, the competent woman with good ideas that you’ve been ignoring this whole meeting.

Friday: You should know it really pisses Jesus [or another deity of your choice] off when you are dismissive of women.


Monday: I realize you are trying to interrupt me but I’m just going to keep on speaking and gradually increase the volume of my voice until you stop talking and let me finish.

Tuesday: I will listen to you for two full minutes. Setting my timer . . . and . . . go!

Wednesday: If you could answer the question I actually asked, that would be great.

Thursday: Let me expound on my own idea.

Friday: Take the day off. Ask a guy who gets it to speak up for you today.


Monday: Let me repeat what I just said so you can listen this time.

Tuesday: Before the meeting starts, I just wanted to check. Will we all be expected to talk about things we really understand, or just pull words out of our butts because we like the sound of our own voices?

Wednesday: Let’s play the quiet game. First one to talk loses. [This can be accompanied by flicking the lights on and off until everyone quiets down.]

Thursday: Please tell me more about what I’m really thinking.

Friday: Last night some aliens took me up in their spaceship and told me the solution to all of our problems.

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