Although it has been a while since women have been given the place they truly deserve in our society, they still don’t feel safe to open up in their fullness at all places. Not being able to speak up at work or high level meetings is such an instance of their doubt. Every woman has her own array of reasons for not being able to speak her mind out at work or to her colleagues over high level meetings. This article aims pointing out the problems women have to face at work and meetings that discourages them from opening their mouth:
The Eloquent Woman – Why Women Don’t Speak Out?
1. Women are often outnumbered by men:
Despite the promises made to women on enjoying equality in life with men, women often find themselves secondary to them. And to add more problems the number of women at work is usually far fewer than the number of working men. This may put some reserved women in an uneasiness given the fact that they do not feel comfortable around men. This often keeps women from sharing their view on matters discussed at meeting. They do not even bother taking part in projects that they would have otherwise worked on, if they were given more freedom to work alone or with other women. Also it is a fact that in general men and women have different trains of thought so landing up in a male dominated place can be quite a daunting place for any woman to fit in.
2. Because often the society turns a deaf ear to what women have to say:
Contrary to what the society wants us to believe, they often forget to give women the respect they deserve. And women not finding the courage to speak up at work is the damage the society is inflicting on us. It is never because for the lack of trying on the part of women that they often fail to express themselves at important meetings. Rather it is the unhealthy practice of the society to try and keep them quiet as much as they can. And if anyhow some women plucks the courage to say something they feel had to be said, then ignorant people do their best to make sure that they are seen but not heard. And eventually women stop taking interest in joining a meeting or speaking up where they could have because they won’t be taken seriously.
3. Women face undue criticism:
Everyone is familiar with the blame game that is going on for ages. It is always the female who has to be blamed if something goes wrong even if it is not her fault. Similarly at work women have to face harsh remark and criticism if they try too hard to express their views. It becomes absolutely unbearable for women to keep working in peace if they are appreciated more than their male counterparts for their efforts. Men are likely to try and discourage women when they are doing their best not be broken by the mockery they have to face. Often we see that women are taunted by male colleagues on their success on projects if they happen to do better than men.
4. Women want to avoid any possible conflict:
Women have never been too fond of conflicts except with other women over things they want to buy. Women never want to be serious offenders or pick a fight deliberately with others if they are given the option to walk away. Women are kind creature who would go to any degree to take care of people they care for and even help out people in need. So being a kind hearted and loving race they do not get involved in fights easily. Therefore women know that how they think over certain matters may be in sharp contrast to what men think. Even though it is perfectly normal to have different opinions on matters, some women choose to peacefully walk away from opening up on their take.
5. Some female workers are not loud enough:
Often there is the complaint that women workers are not loud enough to be let to speak over high level meetings. It is true that women have soft spoken personalities but that does not give anyone the right to dismiss what they can contribute to work. Men are of the opinion that women are neither vocal nor loud enough to be given a say in meetings or at work. But what men don’t think is that it is highly insensitive of them to be thinking so narrowly. Men and women have been created with the same bodily functions and mental prowess so it is absolutely unfair to underestimate them. Moreover the vocal chords of women are slightly different than what men have and that is what makes their voice so shrill and difficult to carry over a long distance.
6. Women can sometimes stay pre-occupied:
Being preoccupied with domestic work is nothing out of the ordinary for women. But that’s the reason why they fail to concentrate as much as they should to be able to effectively participate in talks for the company. Due to being caught up in their mind, women cannot hope to pay much attention to what is going on around them to be able to be a part of it. They sometimes fail to act as responsible employees at work when they are unavailable most of the time for things that are not related to work. Be it worrying about kids or what to cook on returning home, women always have some thought or the other, bothering them constantly. Although men can be a little ignorant women are unlikely to come to work keeping chores at home unfinished.
7. Not being able to spontaneously participate:
Spontaneity is not a woman’s cup of tea. Women often tend to be slaves of preparation. Which is to say that women are most likely to perform better if they are given enough time to work on their speech. As opposed to them, men tend to say whatever comes to their mind or seems right to say. Women on the other hand are perfectionists, they will not put fingers in pies unless they are absolutely confident of what they are doing. That is the reason why women often don’t want to make a hasty statement at work and regret it later on or say something that will not be the best that she can do. So women often opt to stay silent because their prepared comebacks always win hearts in one fell swoop.
8. Women get too emotional:
Being a woman is tough and one of the toughest challenges that they come across is their emotional intensity. Being women they tend to be too intensely emotional over things that can be done without any emotional support. This is due to the fact that women are soft hearted, motherly being and they care for anybody regardless that they are in need of help. This is one of the reasons why women refrain from sharing their views when they know that nobody would try to understand why they have such deeply emotional opinions on almost every matter. And since most of the women are not so empty hearted not to get emotional every now and then, they find it better to keep their views to themselves till the right time comes.
9. Women often end up taking things personally:
One big problem is that women take offense very easily. Even if a guy has to say something on what a woman has said, she might think that the person has every intention to demean her views. This often takes a worse turn when some women are too vocal to remain silent after misinterpreting a remark or counterpoint from a fellow worker. As a result of an outspoken outburst of rage men and women at work start to rub cold shoulders which is never healthy when you are required to work together in harmony.
10. Men often do not give women the respect they deserve:
Men can sometimes act really immature when it comes to being hand in gloves with women at work. Men somehow take their physical advantage over women to be an overall superiority which they try to imply every so often to get things done their way. But women are also not going to sit idle at such irrational behavior from men. This is where the conflict of the genders begins. It is clear that men are entirely at fault here because how God has made them look has nothing to do with the efforts they can put into achieving the same amount of work. It is stupid of men to think that they can determine till how far women can go based on who is bigger and stronger. And that is why women are often unwilling to speak up as they do not get the respect they truly deserve.
11. Women prefer to walk the walk rather than talk the talk:
Women are hardworking people who believe that actions speak. Some sturdy women who take their work too seriously think that it is a waste of time to speak up much at work or meeting when you can actually make everyone see who is running the show. Some women prefer to work alone rather than in a team and hence they think it’s best that they keep their plans of improvement to themselves. Or some women just don’t trust the people around them to speak freely about the plans they have for the company. But basically women are beings of action, they believe that the easiest and fastest way to get the work done is to talk less and act more.
12. The problem with bullying:
The problem with some men is that they can’t stand women getting ahead of them even by one step. And these petty men try their level best to bring to break their confidence. Not all but few male workers try to bully their female colleagues into having a nervous breakdown. They just cannot somehow see women getting the best from the undying efforts they have been making for the company. This is a reason why women grow less trusting around men and make less active efforts to speak up at work or meetings since nobody wants to become an object of ridicule and bullying.
14. Women attract negative attention:
Not in the way it usually means, women have a tendency of being blatantly honest even if it is not in their best interest to be so rudely vocal. Some men just cannot take it lightly to be openly insulted for being countered on a stupid opinion. Therefore it is very easy to make enemies when you are not very careful about what you are saying. And being a woman it is very hard to face too many challenges thrown her way too many times in a row on top of all the household work to be done. Thus a woman always has the risk of facing too may unexpected dangers if a woman chooses to speak up on the cons of the views of someone who will not take it sportingly.
15. Women also have to face threats:
Lastly, being too blunt with words has its negative sides. Women can get into serious trouble if they are not to be cautious about curbing words while speaking against the views of an employee who is capable of doing damage. There have been some instances where women had to face serious problems for being too straight forward with their colleagues. So to avoid being the recipient of such adverse behavior, women often refrain from keeping their opinion on the table.
Both inward and outward factors have been seen to influence a woman’s decision not to speak up at work or high level meetings. The above given points hold few of the main reasons that are responsible for making women not wanting to speak up over the years.