Men need to stop assuming women can't handle profanity

    By: Kelsey Vuillemot on Mar 20, 2017

    Teesha Murphy writes, "When I first entered the public relations world, I would find myself incredibly intimidated when presented with a conference room full of men. I felt they were looking at me like I was a little girl, rather than a colleague. Despite my professional appearance, I had the strangest intuition I was being seen more as a bright-eyed teenager in a sundress than a respected executive. They’d go around shaking one another’s hands, and when they finally came to me, their hands dropped to their sides. Sometimes, I would get a wave or a quiet nod of their head in acknowledgement.

    Eye contact was always the next major indicator I was in trouble. The male executives would speak as if I weren’t in the room, making it increasingly difficult for me to inject myself into the conversation. Of course, there were those times when a crude or profane comment was uttered, and then they might (finally) look my way and say something like, 'Oops, I apologize.'

    This was never a good thing. It meant the men in the room were made just as uncomfortable by me as I was by them. They felt censored and burdened. As a creative director, I know there are no two sensations more detrimental to a brainstorm or pitch meeting.

    Nonetheless, after several occurrences of this, I had a minor, yet important epiphany: My female presence carried some serious power. By simply being the sole woman in a room full of men, I had the ability to change the entire atmosphere. Sure, in the current state it was working against me. But if I channeled this power properly, I could probably make a significant impact."

    READ MORE>>

    Released: March 20, 2017, 7:50 am
    Keywords: NAWL News


    National Association of Women Lawyers®

    American Bar Center MS 19.1, 321 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654 T: 312.988.6186 F: 312.932.6450 nawl@nawl.org