It’s not surprising that women and minority groups may not be heard at the workplace. This is something that has been going on for years and is deeply embedded in the system.
However, it’s something we must not accept and constantly work towards changing. Everyone has a voice and deserves to be heard, so we must not accept otherwise.
If you are a woman or a minority, here is everything you need to know about how to make your voice heard in the workplace.
Why Are Women and Minorities Less Heard at Work?
What’s important to understand is that most of the time people don’t intend to exclude women or minorities in the workplace. Unfortunately, the reason why it happens is that these biases and prejudices have seeped into the work culture over the years and now they have just become an unconscious part of it.
It is very common for women to be less heard or even worse, interrupted at the workplace particularly by men. You’ll find that they are often even left out of important conversations and meetings. The same is the case with minority groups.
Even when people aren’t trying to exclude them, they end up including people similar to themselves. They are so often cut off or interrupted that it leads to them getting conditioned not to speak. A point comes when they lose confidence in themselves and stop speaking altogether. These biases have existed for so long that even though things have changed, they haven’t completely because these prejudices have been internalized over the years and are acted on subconsciously.
Apart from that, some men sometimes get intimidated and cut women off. It is their toxic masculinity that can’t handle an assertive woman.
How They Can Make Their Voice Heard
This must not stop them. In fact, it is all the more reason why they should make their voices heard. Read on to find out three ways you can do so:
1. Be confident
The first step is to be bold and confident. If you have a thought or an idea, own it and put it out there. When you are confident, you’ll start to notice the way people’s attitudes towards you will start to change. This is because your body language will start to change too and you’ll come across as a lot more confident. Make sure that your tone isn’t too soft or hesitant, use a higher pitch that shows that you know exactly what you’re talking about.
2. Don’t care about what people think
The sad truth is that people don’t really like women or minority groups speaking up, but do they respect them? Yes. When you start raising your voice in the workplace, you may start to feel that people don’t like it, especially if it’s a male-dominated company. Let go of the notion of being ‘liked’ and just speak your mind, people will have to stop and listen even if they don’t want to.
3. Plan what you’re going to say
This may help you if you are struggling with confidence issues. It’ll also help give you a better understanding of what you would like to say. Think about it from before and then rehearse, exactly in the manner that you would say it. It’ll definitely ensure that you are heard!
Why is it important for women and minorities to speak up?
The answer to this question is that it is their basic right, it’s as simple as that. By allowing themselves to be spoken over or unheard, they are giving up that basic right, their power, and their freedom. In order for change to occur and society to progress, it is so important that they speak out.
It’s also important for their self-confidence and they owe it to themselves to be heard. Imagine if many years ago women and minorities hadn’t fought to get their voices heard? We wouldn’t be where we are today. So speak up, not only for yourself but for the generations to come after you too.
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