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How to be heard among your peers and your boss

Breakthrough Blueprint

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How to be heard among your peers and your boss

This week, I was in a high-powered meeting of senior executives. One thing I noticed was when a woman would put forward her idea, a man would then repeat the exact same idea in different words. The other men in the room lauded him on his idea and, each time, the woman said: “Isn’t that what I just said?”

It was surreal.

Sadly, I see it a lot. Maybe the men in this room just suffer from selective hearing.

A recent article from the Washington Post explored how female Obama staffers tackled the issue.

It revealed that whenever female staffers made a good point, another would comment on it, amplifying it and ensure that credit was given to the woman who said it – thus stopping a man in the room from taking it as his own.

It was a strategic move on the part of all female staffers that paid off because Obama then started to call upon ideas and input from more women, according to the article.

Consider: is this something you can implement at your work?

Valerie Khoo

Valerie Khoo is CEO of the Australian Writers’ Centre, one of the world’s leading centres for writing courses. She contributed to Fairfax for 13 years and has held senior editorial roles at ACP (now Bauer), Pacific Magazines and EMAP. She was editor of Business Chick’s Latte magazine for five years and regularly writes for corporate and consumer titles. Valerie began her career in chartered accounting at PwC before moving into public relations, journalism and then entrepreneurship. She is co-host of the podcast “So you want to be a writer”, recently listed as one of the top 30 podcasts for writers in the world, and “So you want to be a photographer”. Valerie is also a mentor with the Australian Businesswomen’s Network.