Women Are Better At Virtual Relationship Building Than Men- Here’s Why!

It’s a bold, general statement, but observation of human behavior signals places women naturally ahead of men on video calls. It may not feel to women like they have the upper hand while covering childcare and work simultaneously. Many articles even site work from home during quarantine as causing women’s workforce equality to backslide. In industries where work from home remains, now is the time to push for more equality, pay raises, flexible hours and more while women have the opportunity for equality on virtual calls!

How genders are equal:

1. All squares are the same size.

If participants are viewing the meeting on speaker mode, the speaker’s square is larger than everyone else’s. This is a huge advantage for women to take advantage of because the focus literally becomes “all eyes on you.” Speak up and take the stage on Zoom. If you are interrupted, you have control to come back in and say, “to finish my earlier point…” Teach others on the call that you won’t be walked over!

2. Positioning is random.

You don’t have control over where your square is in relationship to others. Virtual calls put an end to jockeying for position in the conference room. You don’t know if your square is next to your boss or your subordinate when on a call.

3. You control your environment.

Everyone has the same opportunity to look better on video calls. By taking a small amount of time to fix lighting, background and sound, you can look like the most authoritative and executive person on the call.

How women’s behavior naturally is better than men’s behavior for virtual calls.

1. Women use their chest and shoulders more.

Fortunately for women, they naturally move more in the shoulders and chest than men and these are the body parts we see on virtual calls.

Women have been the primary caregivers for generations and that shows in their movements. Cuddling babies and embracing children naturally makes women more comfortable with moving their upper body. Fashion also plays a part. For centuries the corset prevented woman’s core movement, forcing them to rely on shoulders and necks for flirting and signaling others.

Just take the hug, for instance, as a prime example of male and female differences. Men hug mainly using arms but keeping the chest stiff and adding a back slap. They are more likely to go after the half hug or side hug. Women, on the other hand, tend to embrace with more shoulder and chest engagement than just arms.

Collaboration and relationship body language signals are primarily in the upper body where women signal more often. This gives women the upper hand when talking to potential clients on Zoom. Women naturally come across as less stiff and more “human” in virtual mediums. They will appear more compassionate which can aid them in all sorts of conversations from client communication to difficult conversations like work force reductions and furloughs.

2. Women smile more

Facial expressions are a key component to virtual communication success. There have been many a meme showcasing errant expressions giving the wrong impression. While constant smiling can be creepy, a pleasant expression is key to virtual communication. This is especially important so others don’t think you are upset just because your listening expression is serious. Research shows women smile more than men, so again, they are naturally set up for virtual call success.

3. Women gesture on the chest plain

A problem for women in the conference room has become a real asset in the virtual room. Women tend to gesture in the chest plane of the body which can make them seem more emotional in the conference room next to their male counterparts who generally gesture nearer to the waist. This simple difference means much of a man’s communication is lost in virtual calls when compared with women on video calls. Humans have a difficult time trusting what they can’t see. When they can’t see gestures, they wonder what they are missing and may be less likely to come to consensus or agree to action.

What to make of women’s superiority on video calls?

More remote working is an opportunity for women. Take a moment to congratulate the women on your team who have a great virtual presence. Let them take the lead on more projects.

Men can learn from the women on their teams to come across at their best on video calls. Ditch the jacket and tie when on Zoom to encourage more movement in your chest and shoulders. Stick notes on your computer reminding you to smile!

Communication is different when virtual. The longer we use Google meet, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom, etc. to stay connected, the more important it is to increase our knowledge of how we are perceived and how we can improve. Even if your business is going back to the office, many of your clients, networking events, conferences and more are going to remain virtual.

When you are on your next virtual call, take some inventory of yourself and those around you to see if you are excelling on Zoom or merely putting up with it! Whether man or woman, there are questions to ask yourself to maximize your virtual communication.

  • Can I see and hear people clearly? Do I look clear and commanding enough on screen?
  • Do the others on the call seem engaged or bored? How can I sense the difference?
  • Am I giving off signals of engagement or boredom?
  • Can I easily read the body language of others or are they not giving me enough to observe?
  • Do I see my own gestures and body language in my square or do I need to do more for others to be able to read me?

With a little observation and effort into making virtual calls better, Zoom can become an asset to your business, and you can emerge from stay at home in a stronger position than before.

Want a review of your virtual presence? Call us at 630-234-1392 to set up Zoom presence coaching. These can be done in individually or in groups.