By Mary Gulino
When Jodie raised her hand to chime in at the budgeting meeting yesterday, it was no surprise that her comments were interrupted so the all-male C-suite could talk in circles about the same inconsequential line items.
By now, she knows her place in her workplace hierarchy, so getting ignored wasn’t a huge blow. “I had some pretty extensive ideas that would have saved us a ton of money, but they’re not ready to hear that sort of feedback from me,” says Jodie, who hopes she’ll have better luck next time.
But what Jodie didn’t expect was the deafening silence that would follow when her empty stomach grumbled around minute thirty of the meeting. “The silence that followed the growl was almost deferential,” recalls Jodie’s coworker Maryanne who was taking notes on the meeting. “Everyone waited it out to hear what else her stomach had to say.”
Accounts vary, but sources generally agree the grumble lasted anywhere between five and twenty seconds.
“All I know is it was very hard to take notes during that part,” says Maryanne.
Jodie, who hadn’t eaten breakfast the morning before the meeting, relays with wonder how, “The CFO shut up so my stomach could talk. I can’t remember the last time he was quiet for that long.”
Jodie and other witnesses agree that her stomach growl did sound an awful lot like an authoritative male voice, and that was likely the reasoning it earned the respect that it did. “It was like this booming, cavernous echo,” recalls Jodie’s coworker Samuel. “I had the sense that whoever was making those sounds was someone who should be earning exactly as much as me, maybe more.”
For future meetings, Jodie plans to use her proximity to her stomach to her advantage. If she ever has an idea that is undeniable in its efficacy, she will simply tell it to her stomach ahead of time so that it can deliver the pitch in a way that’s more agreeable to the higher ups. Now that’s allyship!
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