Hi Guys,

I’m sitting in a meeting right now with 13 people and I’m the only woman in the room.  This occurs in about 85% of all meetings that I attend.  I don’t mind.  I’m not here to blog about gender equality.  I’m a firm believer in meritocracy and being gender blind.  But there is something that happens when you add one woman to a room full of men in a business meeting.  Suddenly we impact the meeting even if we don’t say a word.  Men stop talking to each other like they do when women aren’t around.  And it makes women feel awkward.  You’re being polite and chivalrous.  I totally respect that and am never one to scoff at a door being held open for me, etc.   So my message to all men about being in business meetings is if you’re going to swear, just swear.  If you’re going to tell an off color joke, go ahead.  We’re not delicate flowers.  We can handle it.  Treat us like one of you and we’ll all be happy.  Thanks!