The Privilege of Working Out Loud


Not everyone is allowed to work out loud. Those who can must value their opportunities and seek to help others to share.

I was reading an article in the newspaper on the weekend about a new book by Tara Moss on “Speaking Out: A 21st Century Handbook for Women and Girls”. The discussion in the book of barriers to women speaking up and the techniques that can assist caused me to reflect on the barriers many people face in sharing their work out loud.

Not everyone can work out loud. The real pressures that hold people back can be social, gender, hierarchy or the culture of their organisation. For many people, the expectation in their organisation is that someone with their position, role or work will keep silent, do what they are told and just deliver. Something as simple as talking out loud about your work with others is a privilege.

As a privilege, working out loud is something that needs to be used with respect. I have always stressed that working out loud is a choice. We cannot mandate it, because that choice will not suit many and may not be available to all.

As a privilege, working out loud should be used to benefit others. If you can work out loud, you have a contribution to make. Those who can speak out have an opportunity to help others to be heard. Those who can speak out can support others who may face barriers or abuse. Those who can speak out have an opportunity to role model better ways and to fight for changes that give voices to others in their organisation and their society.

If you can work out loud, use that privilege to help others.