If women are ever going to get ahead in office life, men are going to have to stop “manterrupting,” according to one business expert—and it’s up to men in the workplace to manterrupt the mantterupters.
Manterrupting, according to management consultant Jeffrey Tobias Halter, is when men in the workplace diminish or sweep aside their female colleagues concerns, whether unintentionally or because they believe their male experience is more valuable.
Essentially, manterrupting is when you mansplain something to a female co-worker while she is trying to speak. Mansplaining plus interrupting equals manterrupting.
Of course, men can’t help their tendency to interrupt their colleagues.
According to the author, who is clearly not up-to-date on the concept of gender fluidity and espouses an archaic understanding of heteronormative, binary gender roles, men are hardwired for quick decision-making. That leads them to cut off women they think are taking too long to come to a conclusion, or who are veering the conversation into the weeds.
The result? Women feel less empowered to speak up in the workplace, and are less likely to challenge their male colleagues, plunging entire workplaces into the sort of gender bias culture that existed in the the era of Don Draper and three-martini lunches.
It’s not up to women, the author points, to adjust their expectations in a male-dominated workplace, or modify their behavior to make their companies more comfortable for everyone. It is only the responsibility of male workers to ensure they aren’t making female workers uncomfortable.
Fortunately, manterrupting is still a developing concept, so while it may be infecting your workplace, there’s still time to nip the problem in the bud.