Eric Schmidt Called Out For Manterrupting

Eric SchmidtYou can’t make this stuff up: during a SXSW panel that focused on diversity in tech, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson repeatedly interrupted fellow panelist Megan Smith (the CTO of the United States of America, no less)—and then were publicly called on that behavior by Judith Williams, the head of the Unconscious Bias program at Schmidt’s own company. Williams, who seemingly has the nerve of 1,000 normal people put together, stood up during the Q&A session and asked, “Given that unconscious bias research tells us that women are interrupted a lot more than men, I’m wondering if you are aware that you have interrupted Megan many more times.” Williams wasn’t the only one in the room who had noticed the interrupting, and her question elicited loud cheers and applause from the audience.Judith Williams, ladies and gentlemen: the woman who put her boss on blast with national media present in the name of highlighting biases against women, and your new champion of speaking up at work.If you want quick tips to prepare yourself to make your voice heard, check out “10 Words Every Girl Should Know.” Better yet, bring Take The Lead to your group for a Gender Bilingual Communication Workshop and get a complete set of tools for a productive and respectful conversation.