Amplification

Proactively referencing someone's name when talking about their original idea/contribution in order to give credit. It can be used in many settings: meetings, talks, writing, etc. This is in response to the dynamic that women’s contributions, especially women of color, are often ignored or attributed to men. [Washington Post]


Champion

I always appreciate the "alley oop" - I've had a few close male colleagues who point out when someone steals my point. They do it in a very low-key way, such as, "I think that's exactly what Yuriko was just saying." 

More Champions

One of my managers (after reading the amplification article about the women in the White House working for Obama) made a point to proactively use everyone’s name (not just women) when talking about their good ideas in team meetings (he didn’t do this with bad ideas - probably a good move).

Hear it Firsthand

A few jobs ago my boss wouldn't accept ideas from women. My coping mechanism, as the ops manager for the company that he CEOd, was to plan 3 months out, offer the idea, plan to have him reject it, wait 3 months until he forgot it was me who originally had it, and have him re-suggest it at a meeting so I could say "Great idea! Let's do that!".


Facts and data

  • One study asked participants to look at pictures and read info on two people working together: worker one and worker two. There were two version of these materials: half the time, the pictures indicated the first worker was female and the second male, the other half switched the workers. When asked to evaluate these two workers, both male and female participants, across both sets of materials, rated the female worker as less competent and less influential by 1.5 points (out of 9) [American Psychological Association]
  • Another study shows that women are more likely to give credit for positive outcomes to male teammates unless role and responsibilities are explicitly spelled out [Society for Personality and Social Psychology]
  • A joint study by Harvard, Wharton, and MIT found that entrepreneurial pitch videos that had a male narrator were twice as likely to be funded than the exact same video and script narrated by a woman. This exact same pitch with a male voice was more likely to be described as “persuasive”, “logical”, and “fact-based”. [PNAS]

Take Action

  • Amplify others ideas and contributions. Proactively give credit to people for their good ideas. If you see someone who is not getting credit for a good idea, double your effort to do so. This happens to everyone, but women of color are most likely to not get credit.
  • Create clear criteria for what excellence looks like. This will help you give accolades and credit with more accuracy. Bias thrives in ambiguity.
  • Publicly praise people who do good work. Women who were given positive feedback were more likely to give themselves credit for the good work they did.
  • Be specific when giving credit. This helps listeners to truly take in someone’s accomplishments.

pjford