Who’s that talking?
A new app aims to balance out boardroom conversations by analyzing the pitch of male and female voices.
One thing most women reading this already know is that men sometimes have a habit of dominating conversations, especially in professional settings. Whether they are the most knowledgeable on the subject or not (or whether they are even doing it on purpose), society has ingrained a belief in men that their opinions should be heard, even if it means talking over others. Men, if you don’t think you do this, take a second to really think about it, because I can guarantee that you totally do. If you still don’t believe me, there’s a new app that can prove it.
Swedish design firm Doberman has created an app called GenderEQ that uses AI and voice recognition to track the balance of men and women speaking during meetings, in real time. Simply press the start button, place the phone on the table, and the app will recognize whether a male or female voice is speaking and chart it on a graph as the meeting progresses. Once it’s done, the app will display the final percentage of time when both men and women were speaking.
No audio is actually recorded or stored. It is merely analyzing the pitch of the voices, so it can be used even in the most sensitive of meetings.
The app obviously isn’t a perfect solution for gender roles, stereotypes and discrimination in the workplace. Perhaps someone is a bit of a rambler, or is very good at getting their best ideas and thoughts across in a few words. It also doesn’t take into account people who may not identify with either side of the gender binary. But seeing that line move across the chart might at least get some men to think twice about whether or not it always needs to be their voice that’s the loudest one in the boardroom.