Men vs Women · Women

How Women Run Meetings

One of the worst aspects of being a wagecuck in a larger company is that you get to attend a pretty generous number of meetings. As I work in a technical field, I mostly end up in meetings with a majority of men. This means that people are normally quite focused. There is not a lot of chit chat and people quite often want to get those meetings over and done with as soon as possible. While I am sure that there are women out there, somewhere, who are just as competent as men, the reality is that there are distinct differences in how men and women facilitate meetings.

A favorite of women is to play some music at the start of a meeting, and instead of starting on time, they keep playing their elevator music for five minutes more so that late joiners will not miss anything. This is followed by a round of introductions even if most people know each other. It is also quite common that there is the assumption that none of the participants is prepared, which means that you spend some time on a pointless recap.

Decision-making with too many women in a meeting is seriously hamstrung. They just end up chattering far too much. I also witnessed a pseudo-democratic approach where participants were asked to take part in anonymous polls to voice their opinion, which was ludicrous. Any kind of interactivity is a female favorite, often accompanied by music. It is cringe-worthy beyond belief. However, they seem to think that they have to fill the time somehow.

You can also expect a meeting fueled by estrogen to last until the very end of the scheduled time or even go over time. At the very least, either seems to happen much more often than not. The best part is that such a meeting may end up being completely inconclusive, which means that you are very likely to get invited to a follow-up a few weeks later.

This reminds me of what a friend of mine, a relatively high-ranking career bureaucrat, told me recently: ten or fifteen years ago, he said, there was strict adherence to rules and processes and people finished what they started. These days, however, it is more and more common that initiatives just fizzle out after a while. This means that people work on projects for a year or two and at some point they — the initiatives, not the people — get unceremoniously dropped, only to start this cycle again with some other bullshit initiative. He sardonically remarked that this approach is a net-win for society.

If you work remotely, it is thankfully very easy to tune out. Just turn your camera off and fire up a game that does not require your full attention. Leveling your party in an RPG is great for this. I also know of guys who play games like Diablo while listening to some HR drone waffle about their new and very important diversity and inclusion initiatives, in a meeting with mandatory attendance, of course. Well, with a bit of luck, this gravy train is about to end, which would also entail fewer pointless meetings for all. At the very least, when I log into LinkedIn these days, I see blue-haired “xirs” lament having lost their job out of the blue instead of virtue signaling the way they used to. There is also the amusing angle that any corporation that does mass layoffs does not deserve to promote “diversity, equity, and inclusion”, which is an involuntarily humorous admission of those people that they are aware of the fact that they cannot compete on a level playing field.

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