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Ever Felt Silenced in Male-Dominated Meetings? Here are 4 Strategies for Speaking Up!

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Ever Felt Silenced in Male-Dominated Meetings? Here are 4 Strategies for Speaking Up!

Navigating male-dominated meetings can be a daunting task for many professional women. In these settings, it'snot uncommon for women to feel sidelined or overlooked, making it challenging to voice their opinions and contribute effectively. Here are four strategies to help you find your voice and make your presence known in male-dominated meetings.

1. Claiming Your Space

The first step to speaking up in meetings is to claim your space at the table both physically and mentally. Sit confidently, maintain good posture, and make eye contact with other attendees to convey your presence and confidence. Remember that you belong in the room just as much as anyone else, and your perspective is valuable. 

2. Preparation is Key

One of the keys to speaking up effectively in meetings is thorough preparation. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the meeting agenda, topics of discussion, and relevant background information. Anticipate potential questions or objections and prepare concise talking points to articulate your thoughts clearly and confidently. Additionally, practicing your delivery beforehand can help alleviate nervousness and ensure you make a strong impression when it's time to speak up.

3. Amplification and Allyship

In male-dominated settings, women often face the challenge of having their voices drowned out or dismissed. To counteract this, employ the strategy of amplification and allyship. When a female colleague makes a valid point or suggestion, affirm her contribution by restating and endorsing her idea. This not only gives credit where it's due but also helps prevent the marginalization of female voices. Likewise, be an ally to other women in the meeting by actively listening to their input, offering support, and amplifying their contributions whenever possible.

4. Assertive Communication Techniques

Assertive communication is essential for effectively expressing your ideas and advocating for yourself in meetings. Practice using assertive language, such as "I believe," "In my opinion," or "I'd like to add," to assert your perspective confidently without coming across as aggressive or confrontational. Additionally, be mindful of your tone and body language, avoiding apologetic or submissive gestures that undermine your authority. 

Speaking up in male-dominated meetings can be a daunting prospect for many professional women, but it's a crucial skill for advancing your career and making your voice heard. Remember that your perspective is valuable, and your voice deserves to be heard. With these strategies in your toolkit, you can navigate male-dominated meetings with confidence and conviction, paving the way for greater success and recognition in your professional endeavors.

Half the Sky's mission is to supply the tools that can give every woman the ability to build a successful career and be fully prepared for the future of work. So, that they can lead a healthy, prosperous and more balanced/blended lifestyle of their choosing.  By building your confidence, you’re setting foundations to empower yourself and your career.  The world is your oyster, and it starts with you. 

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