Women Need To 'Speak Up More Loudly' To Redress Gender Imbalance At Work – Says All Male Panel

A male CEO refused to dismantle the macho culture in his meeting rooms and told women to speak up instead

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If Donald Trump signing the Executive Order which reinstated the Mexico City Ruling (prohibiting funding of international health centres that provide abortions) in a room full of old white dudes, didn't set you teeth grinding....

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Or the suspiciously female-lite CNN panel on the Women's March...

Or how about the Saudi Arabian 'Girls Council' which appeared to have, you guessed it, no girls in it?

If none of these have done the trick to make you suitably annoyed and ready for a midweek patriarchy fight, then read on.

To add to the depressing list of times women were absent from a scene they definitely should be part of, is the panel of four men at the PRWeek Hall of Femme conference in New York.

According to The Pool, the Hall of Femme conference did honour nine successful women in the PR industry and that the panel in question was just to gain a specifically male perspective on how women can overcome sexism in the workplace.

But, it still felt quite irksome.

We're not saying that men don't have valid opinions, but does the entire panel have to be made up of male voices? Could you maybe not have some senior women who have actually successfully overcome gender bias in the industry to give some advice?

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Apparently not.

Anyway, the advice the male panelists gave was absolutely classic too.

Richard Edelman

When discussing how to redress the balance of boardroom dominance, CEO of PR firm Edelman, Richard Edelman explained that he thought it had a lot to do with how quiet women were in key meetings.

Upon asking female executives why they stayed quiet, they explained that the aggressive and dominant 'macho culture' that men tend to be part of in senior meetings made it hard to find the confidence to speak up or cut through the noise.

Edelman went on to say, 'How are we going to fix that? Either you're going to speak up, or I'm going to have to hammer the guys.'

Having clearly set out the options - make the women speak up when they aren't comfortable doing so versus confronting the 'macho culture' that exists in his meetings, Edelman went for the obvious choice: 'I said, "You speak up first."'

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He even said that the women he worked with told him they saw the best action would be for the macho culture to be dismantled.

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But no, they need to speak up first.

Thanks, bro.

Edelman apparently went on to say that these women shouldn't let the men drown them out, 'just because they are guys and talk loudly'.

Amazing advice, we literally had never thought of talking!

Thankfully, Twitter took Edelman's council literally and told him exactly what they thought.

Though it wasn't just the internet which chimed in.

Turns out there was at least one Qween in the audience of the panel, who gave Edelman a wee bit of sass, Pam Wickham - one of the nine trailblazers receiving honours that day - told him:

We don't need to speak up, we need to be heard.We don't need stretch opportunities, we need equal opportunities.We don't need to network more – we need to get paid more. We don't need men to advise us, we need women who did it to tell us how they did it.

Pam, you're our spirit animal.

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