All those millions of online meetings are WASTED...

…if they don’t bring about LASTING changes in HUMANS.

All those millions of online meetings are WASTED... /img/women-on-zoom.jpg

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, that forced hundreds of millions of office workers to make regular, massive use of videoconferencing…

  • Researchers found that [in the US] only 3% of black workers wanted to return to full-time in-person work compared with 21% of white workers.
  • Other research unsuprisingly suggested that “online meetings are not necessarily more democratic[, because] imbalances found in “normal” meetings are amplified online”:

“A June survey found that almost half (45%) of US women business leaders said it was difficult for women to speak up in virtual meetings on platforms like Zoom, and one in - five women felt they’d actually been ignored on calls."

Links to the actual researches are available, with plenty of other details, in a full report by the Guardian. Here, it is enough to point out that:

1: Passively accepted software-based videoconferences amplify, or at least perpetuate, pre-existing offline issues, just like passively accepted software algoritms do:

“In physical offices we have what sociologists call a hegemonic masculine organisational culture, where white male characteristics are seen as virtues… To think online spaces can completely remove that culture is a bit too naive but maybe some of those ingrained habits can change - if people are reflective."

2: Online or not, more women in the workplace, or even in management will make little or no meaningful difference, if they “just copy the worst of most men in charge today”.