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How to Cope With a Coworker Who Interrupts

Meetings where women are interrupted a lot result in different decisions than ones where everyone has a chance to speak.

Is there anything more annoying than coworkers who interrupt you during meetings or conversations? Several high-profile cases of powerful women being interrupted while trying to do government business — Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton — have recently popped into the headlines. And in fact, research has shown that women get interrupted more than men. 

This week on the podcast, Francesca and Rebecca talk to Chris Karpowitz, who co-wrote "The Silent Sex: Gender, Deliberation and Institutions." Karpowitz explains that when women and minorities get interrupted, it leads to more than just frustration. Companies where this happens a lot make different decisions and have different types of conversations. "When women have greater levels of authority and power within the group, when they speak up more often and articulate their opinions, they don't say the same things as men," says Karpowitz. "In groups where women were more talkative and thus more participatory and more empowered ... they were more concerned about the poor, they were more concerned about people who didn't do as well."

So interrupting women limits the scope of ideas that are shared, and cuts down on egalitarian talk. We ask Karpowitz about some of the things organizations are doing to cut down on the cross-talk. 

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