women

Commentary: Harris-Pence debate: Stop interrupting women

If you’re a woman who has ever participated in any coed business meeting, you’ve likely experienced being interrupted and dismissed by a man.

And you probably weren’t surprised that it happens even to women at the highest levels of government and journalism, as we saw with Sen. Kamala Harris and USA Today Editor Susan Page during Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate.

Vice President Mike Pence talked over the candidate and moderator on several occasions, despite exasperated pushback from both ladies. Pence made it crystal clear his talking points trumped respect and decorum. He certainly proved once again that rules don’t matter in his world. Rules that he signed off on to participate in the debate, I might add.

“Mr. Vice President, I am speaking,” Harris said on one occasion with tactful resistance.

“I am speaking,” she declared firmly in several other instances, a phrase that has since become a rallying

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women

Trump interrupting Biden shows what women deal with in work meetings

  • President Donald Trump interrupted former Vice President Joe Biden at least 128 times in 90 minutes in the first 2020 presidential debate, according to Slate.
  • The exchanges were hard to watch, especially for women, many of whom have experience being interrupted by men.
  • A 2014 study by George Washington University found that men interrupted women 33% more than they did men, and other studies have found similar patterns.
  • One researcher wrote that the gendered dynamics of speaking are a show of power.
  • Sign up here to receive our newsletter Gender at Work in your inbox twice a month.

The first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden was widely regarded as a train wreck. One major reason: Trump wouldn’t let Biden speak, interrupting him at least 128 times in the 90 minutes, per Slate. 

In one instance, Trump interrupted Biden 10 times as the democratic

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