Have you ever been in a brainstorming meeting, in person or on Zoom, and walked away thinking it was great? The ideas were flowing, and people were expanding on each other’s ideas, professionally disagreeing constructively, and bringing energy to the discussion. It was great, all of our meetings should look like that.
Except that’s not really what happened. At least it’s not the whole picture. Yes, perhaps there was a good exchange of ideas, and perhaps some of the folks on the call brought their energy and passion to the discussion. The key word there is “some”. The important thing to remember is that those people who did bring that energy also probably made it really difficult for other voices to be heard. The science would tell you that the straight white men on the team probably spoke up, while others did not speak up. (In the experiment that is detailed in the article, it was men and women singers who were compared.) In my experience, it’s a little more complicated than that. Yes, a small group of white guys can absolutely drown out all of the other voices, but so can a small group of extroverts.