Obama's Female Staff Have A Badass Way Of Making Sure Their Ideas Get Heard
Being a woman in the workplace can be…not great.
Men like to talk over women and people tend to like ideas more when they come from big, strong, masculine voices.
Oftentimes, a woman will make a point in a meeting and be dismissed. Two minutes later, a man will make the same point and be praised.
If you think I'm being oversensitive and exaggerating, turn to the woman nearest to you and ask her if she's ever experienced this. And then actually let her answer the question without you interrupting.
If she doesn't convince you, find a woman who works in a historically male-dominated field like finance or medicine or the law or media (HAAYYY) or science or tech or engineering or math or publishing or politics or anything, really, besides teaching, cleaning and childcare, which are historically female-dominated (and I'm sure women in those fields can tell you about dealing with clients and male bosses).
If you still don't believe me, just go ahead and stop reading this article and tweet something disgusting at me from your egg-photo account.
So, anyway, it takes work to get your voice heard as a woman in the workplace.
President Barack Obama might be a feminist, but his White House was, initially, mostly dudes who had been working on his 2008 campaign.
Anita Dunn, White House communications director until November 2009, told the Washington Post,
If you didn't come in from the campaign, it was a tough circle to break into … Given the makeup of the campaign, there were just more men than women.
So the women of the White House worked together to bring each other up and make sure each other's voices were heard.
They called it “amplification.” When one woman made a point, the other women in the room would repeat it, noting the woman who had first said it.
So then the men in the room had to hear the point, because it was being repeated, and they couldn't call it their own idea, because the women were repeating who said it first.
Obama apparently noticed this was happening and made it a point to call on women more often. This could explain that incredible time he only called on female reporters during a press conference.
Obama has made it a point to promote women and now has an equal amount of men and women serving as his top aides.
Women and allies, working together — that's how shit gets done.
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