All-male panel told women to “speak louder” in order to stop sexism at work

richard edelman on sexism
Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman PR
At a gender discrimination event for PRWeek, an all-male panel told women to ‘speak louder’ to fix work sexism. 

The panel was held as part of the PRWeek Hall of Femme and Champions of PR conference in New York last week.

Whilst the conference honoured nine women in PR, the panel was set up to provide a male perspective.

Addressing the primarily female crowd, Richard Edelman, CEO of international PR firm Edelman explained that he’d asked his female executives why they didn’t speak more during meetings.

The female executives explained that it was the “macho culture” in the meetings that stopped them from speaking.

Edelman continued: “I asked them, ‘How are we going to fix that?

‘Either you’re going to speak up, or I’m going to have to hammer the guys,'”

The women responded by suggesting that Edelman try to address the “macho culture”, but the CEO’s response was for the women to speak up.

Edelman added that women continuously let others drown them out “just because they are guys and talk loudly”.

He concluded that the women should take their complaints management.

One of the women being honoured at the conference, Pam Wickham, counteracted Edelman’s statement, responding:

“We don’t need to speak up, we need to be heard”.

“We don’t need stretch opportunities, we need equal opportunities,” she said.

“We don’t need to network more – we need to get paid more.”

“We don’t need men to advise us, we need women who did it to tell us how they did it.”

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