As adults, women's speech is granted less authority and credibility. We aren't thought of as able critics or as funny. Men speak more, more often, and longer than women in mixed groups (classrooms, boardrooms, legislative bodies, expert media commentary and religious institutions.) Indeed, in male-dominated problem solving groups including boards, committees and legislatures, men speak 75% more than women, with negative effects on decisions reached. That's why, as researchers summed up, "Having a seat at the table is not the same as having a voice."
Masculinized expression is generally considered something women should emulate in order to be successful. This is one of the uncomfortable dimensions of leaning in and closing the confidence gap. We train girls to speak and act one way and then we scratch our heads and castigate them for failing as adults. “Women have to learn to negotiate like men!” When women do engage in characteristically “male” ways [the] men [they are interacting with] are frequently condescending and patronizing.
The implications of gendered speech norms and the discounting of “feminine” speech norms like politeness in the public sphere is glaringly obvious online, where a woman’s simply expressing opinions with confidence means strange men, often with mob support, issue rape and death threats and express other forms of gender-based hostility. Feminine user names get an average of 100 sexually explicit or harassing messages a day compared to the 3.7 that masculine ones do.
If you notice a member of your team is not participating or not being heard, discuss the issue with them privately and try to come up with a solution that feels comfortable to this person.