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President's Message

Stacy R. Horth-Neubert
WLALA President 2016-2017

If there is a silver lining in this year's long, dreadful Presidential campaign, it might be that the American press and people have started to learn about -- and maybe even grapple with -- the phenomena of "manterruption," "mansplaining," and "bropropriation."[1] You might not have heard of the terms before, but if you are a woman lawyer, I am willing to bet you have experienced these behaviors in practice. Like yesterday, when you were meeting with your team of male colleagues -- who kept interrupting you (even though you're a strong, confident and persistent contributor), ignoring the ideas you suggested but then later took credit for them, and then explaining that your failure to speak in meetings up really reflects badly on your suitability for a leadership position on the team. Sound familiar?

This particular American conversation came to some prominence at least as early as last year, when Sheryl Sandberg -- of Lean In fame -- and Adam Grant wrote an opinion piece for the Sunday New York Times in which they decried these practices. There, the authors also described a recent study which found:

"Male executives who spoke more often than their peers were rewarded with 10 percent higher ratings of competence. When female executives spoke more than their peers, both men and women punished them with 14 percent lower ratings. As this and other research shows, women who worry that talking 'too much' will cause them to be disliked are not paranoid; they are often right."[2]


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Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles
634 S. Spring St., Ste. 617
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Phone: (213) 892-8982
Fax: (213) 892-8948