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The interrupters

“Manterrupting,” the habit some men have of interrupting a woman when she’s talking in a meeting — or having a conversation — is a way for men to take back control. In an article published in Le Monde, three senior women managers expressed their views on the subject and the methods they employ to gain credibility and avoid interruption. Manterrupting also seems to be linked to corporate culture.

It is more pronounced in Europe since, in spite of gender parity in education, women are less (or not at all) prepared to address an audience in a society led mostly by men. In the US, on the other hand, female students are given courses on how to continue speaking if they are interrupted, which helps prepare them to handle this behavior.

Interrupting someone while they’re talking is disrespectful and unpleasant, and no one should have to resort to tricks to make their voice heard. To remedy the problem — and to curb this type of discrimination and foster better collaboration — some companies have even instituted internal regulations to combat interruptions.

The goal is not to judge other people but to draw attention to the unconscious bias that allows these interruptions to take place.


En entreprise, ‘une femme qui parle est bavarde, un homme qui parle est un leader’” by Violaine Morin (Le Monde, 8 March 2017).