Zoom and other online meeting forums are wonderful tools that replicate many aspects of face-to-face gatherings — including the tendency of men to preempt, talk over and interrupt their female colleagues. In an article by Mashable's Siobhan Neela-Stock, Sarah J. Brazaitis, Associate Professor of Practice in TC's Department of Organization & Leadership, cites research showing that the best performing groups and teams are those in which all members have equal airtime. Brazaitis suggests that professors teaching online could presage classes with instructions such as:  “We need to put norms in place because now we’re all having these online meetings. Let’s have standards that we won't interrupt one another and each person will have equal time to speak.”

Headshot of Sarah J. Brazaitis, Ph.D.

SETTING THE GROUND RULES Brazaitis has been sending her own students guidelines to ensure equal participation in classes on Zoom. (Photo: TC Archives)

Brazaitis reminds readers that being heard is each team member's right — not a privilege granted by others. She urges women to stick up for one another, as well: “I don't think it is particularly problematic for women to speak up for other women...it might be that they get labeled trouble makers or 'they always stick up for each other' type of thing, but better to advocate in groups then solo regardless.”