A few years back, I was a consultant in the insurance/tech sector in London. I was asked to co-present with a senior head of innovation from an insurance company at a financial innovation conference. We worked together on the presentation and agreed a final deck and narrative.
On the day, he told me he’d added a few slides so we’d use his version of the deck. No problem.
He opened with a photograph of a model in a swimsuit. His opening line – “no presentation is complete without a picture of a women in a bikini”. The room – 90% men- laughed with approval. I was left standing next to him uncertain as to how to respond and knowing whatever I did in that moment, I would be cast as the no-fun/stuckup woman who couldn’t take a joke.
I did nothing. I gave away my power and kept quiet.