You’re a confident, capable woman who’s doing well at your job, yet for some reason, some of your male co-workers insist on explaining things that you already know or are telling you things that are just plain wrong. No one knows why they do this, but it appears that this action has gotten to become a major irritant in the workplace that it now has a name: “mansplaining.”
According to Merriam-Webster, mansplaining occurs when a man talks condescendingly to someone—especially a woman—about something he has incomplete knowledge of, with the mistaken assumption that he knows more about it than the person he’s talking to does.
Though there is no way to stop a serial mansplainer from doing what he does, you can definitely do something about it so it won’t ruin your day. Twitter’s Vice President of Engineering Nandani Ramani has some advice to deal with what she says is one of her pet peeves, and she told CNBC that women should “challenge any and all mansplaining” should it occur in the workplace.
Ramani cited an example wherein she experienced being mansplained. While at a previous job at an undisclosed global software company, Ramani was getting support from her colleagues during online chat forums. But that all changed when she met them in person.
Ramani said that after they realized that she was a woman, all her ideas were ignored unless a man voiced his support for her proposals. The engineer said that that was “when the penny dropped for me” and she recommends that women should take steps to stop this from happening in the workplace.
“Find allies or sponsors, male and female, who can advocate for you,” she said. “Over time it helps build your credibility and things get easier.”
She also suggested pitching ideas in a one-on-one setting if you’re getting ignored during group meetings.
As to how women can stop mansplainers in their tracks, Bustle points out that you could cite statistics, so keep in mind a few facts in order to challenge your co-worker. Also, don’t be afraid to express your own opinion, and before long, your co-worker may think twice before attempting to mansplain again.
For more, check out Jobs & Hire’s report on the tricks companies use to sell to women.