UCL Department of Chemical Engineering


Amplify and Advocate in Meetings

Background: Amplify and Advocate in Meetings

Much of the workday is spent in meetings. This means that ensuring the voices of members of underrepresented groups are heard and valued is essential to creating an inclusive work culture.

Here are some examples of how meeting culture can be biased:


Regardless of the reasons—and regardless of the person being interrupted—allies should take action to minimize and stop interruptions.

Idea Hijacking:

Someone who hijacks someone else's ideas or plans uses those ideas and claims to have created them.

Off Topic Questions and Showboating:

People might ask off-topic questions as a way of testing presenters/speakers, undermine their credibility, and make themselves look smart in the process.

Misdirected Questions:

Where questions are directed to someone in the room who may not be the expert on the subject.

Actions: Amplify and Advocate in Meetings

1) Challenge yourself to notice and act when interruptions happen in meetings.

  • When someone is interrupted, interject and say you’d like to hear them finish.
  • If you see someone struggling to break into the conversation, say you’d like to hear other points of view.
  • If you see a “repeat offender” who interrupts frequently, pull them aside and point it out.

2) Cultivate a culture of credit: Encourage everyone around you to acknowledge the originator of ideas as often as possible.

3) Be vigilant and push back on off-topic questions and showboating.