Subtle Sexism exists all around us.
It is often these seemingly minor slights that can have the biggest impact. When a man and woman are on a committee together, coteaching a class, or presenting a project to the boss.
If a man never reiterates what the woman says - He does not reference her in his comments - He turns his body away from her rather than bladed somewhat toward her during his conversation - He corrects her or interrupts her - Rolls his eyes or makes faces while she is talking
These are all indicators of disdain, disrespect, and disregard
Others present WILL pick up on these subtleties & they will transfer to them. They too will unconsciously disregard the female or her ideas or not respect her as highly as the male.
If you are a male and wish to not subtlety undermine your female counterpart in a meeting, training class, etc. then do the following:
- Refer to her by name
- Gesture toward her when speaking positively about something
- Include her in the discussion or conversation
- Openly credit her for her work or contribution
- If you have something to change in what she is saying or instructing then talk to her about it and give her the opportunity to amend the comment or further clarify it rather than you speaking for her or even worse, against her.
Undermining a female coworker in a public setting can be a devastating set back that the two individuals may never be able to recover from.
Build People Up!
Don't Tear them Down, even unconsciously!