Real talk — White men taking your ideas + work and making it their own!
Today, I presented on a webinar panel discussing customer programs. Within 10 minutes of the panel, I regretted I agreed to partake in the webinar—three people on the panel, myself, another woman, and a white male. The white male-dominated the conversation. I realized he had to lead and had to have the last word. Every statement I made, he made it his own, every process I shared, he reframed the idea and made it his own. After 30 minutes, I smiled with frustration.
I figured if I felt this upset, how many other women feel this way every day? How many times are you filled with frustration because a male-dominated the conversation took your idea and more?
It’s time to change that. Here are a few questions I have begun to ask myself to change the future for the better.
Should you be more selective on the speaking engagements, you agree to participate in?
HELL YES, I agreed to do this speaking engagement months ago through referral. At the time, I didn’t vet the speaking engagement out. I just knew the topic, and I knew I was skilled in the subject matter. I didn’t know who was speaking along my side until a week ago. Ironically, I debated getting out of the speaking engagement, but I didn’t want to leave on such short notice since I committed.
What I learned going forward
- Be extremely selective in what you sign up for. All speaking engagements are not for you.
- Ask for additional information in advance before you agree to speak.
- Meet with other speakers to see if it’s someone you would like to be associated with and rather or not you respect them.
How do you avoid someone taking your ideas?
- Less is more. Stop sharing all of your ideas if they will not benefit you.
- Be selective on who you give your time to.
- Be selective on who you associate yourself with.
How do you overcome frustration?
- Manage what you can control.
- Think about what you are looking to get out of every situation?
- Take everything as a learning lesson so tomorrow you can be better than what you were today.
What did I learn from this situation today?
- Stop saying yes to every request that showcases itself as an opportunity. Not everything is an opportunity for you. In many cases, the more skilled you become in your craft, the more selective you need to become to protect your sanity, ideas, and brand.
- Do your research, ask questions, and then make a calculated decision.
- Next time, charge for your services. Therefore, you can never feel used.
- BOUNDARIES! Set better boundaries for yourself going forward.
- Select who you want to partner with in the future
In conclusion, I hope my experience helps you avoid situations like this, and if you encounter an incident like this, I hope you leverage my tips to avoid frustration.
As women, we must know our worth and value. As women, we have a voice and must learn how to use it. As women, we should be given credit for our work and ideas. As women, we must demand respect and change so moments like this won't happen again.