033 – Equity in Work Meetings with Susann Fisher

033 – Susann Fisher is a product and marketing strategy professional with a tech background. Susann and her co-founders are in early stages of launching their meeting facilitation tool Calvah, which enables equitable and inclusive meetings.


2:30- Susann’s professional background  
5:00 – How was Susann’s experience of Covid in Berlin?
7:30 – How the work-from-home experience inspired Susann to start thinking about equity in a remote environment 
11:30 – what does the existing research on equity in meetings show and how did it map to virtual meetings (4 key elements per Susann – unconscious bias, gender differences, cultural differences, and personality)
19:15 – details on Calvah, Kollectiv’s flagship meeting facilitation software – meeting agenda and allocating time for each speakers 
25:00 – post meeting data collection on inclusivity of the meetings and assessment of how well the speaking times were observed 
30:00 – What is the team’s vision for Calvah? 
34:30 – Reflections for men about how our experiences at work are different than women’s 
39:15 – 3 Things Games 

  • Susann’s question – what are three things you have learned about listening? ( edit) 
  • Thomas’ question – what are three things nature has taught you?

Research shared by Susann:

“My favorite study on gender discrepancies and the benefits (more productive, more innovative, more likely to exceed financial targets) of DE&I at work:”

  • 48% of participants are not speaking in meetings, underscoring the need for inclusion that doesn’t include talking Hybrid Work Index, October 2021
  • White men disagree 40% more on the question: “Including diverse voices in decision making is effective” White Men Leadership Study 2019, white man possess more than 40% of the leadership jobs in most companies, dramatically increasing by leadership level
  • Biggest Meeting irritations: 89% ineffective or poorly organized meetings, 50% people interrupting, 49% people who won’t listen to others, 21% people don’t contribute to meetings Doodle The State of Meetings 2019 Study
  • Most common microaggressions: Unprofessional behavior, being called “well spoken”, being spoken over. 2007: The Cost of Employee Turnover Due Solely to Unfairness in the the Workplace for U.S. employers is $64 billion
  • In a Deloitte survey, 80% of employees consider inclusion as an essential factor in choosing an employer. 
  • 37% of African-Americans and Hispanics and 45% of Asians say they “need to compromise their authenticity” to conform to their company’s standards of demeanor or style. Women in the science, engineering, and technology industries shows that, regardless of gender, acting “like a man” can provide an advantage in becoming a leader in these fields. 2013 Center for Talent Innovation now Coqual

 Women are far more likely to be interrupted in meetings, and their ideas are taken less seriously. Also “Mansplaining” is real. Men interrupt women sometimes so they can explain something the woman actually knows more about or reiterate the woman’s idea as if it were their own