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Measuring Gendered Communication Patterns on Enterprise Communication Platforms

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Association for Computing Machinery


Much of the communication in organizations is now taking place on enterprise communication platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams. These platforms enable modern teamwork, but may also exacerbate discriminatory practices. As discrimination can harm team outcomes, it is essential to study the impact that these communication methods can have. As a case study, we investigate gender discrimination in Mechanical Engineering – one of the least diverse subfields. We investigate whether traditional gendered communication patterns can be found on these platforms, as these patterns can communicate gendered differences that can lead to discrimination. Studying the Slack messages sent in mechanical design teams, we find that being a minority gender (identifying as not a man) is associated with an increase in some measures of emotional and agreeable communication, although not all, and there is no significant association with assertive communication. Future work will relate these patterns to discriminatory practices.


Ferguson, Sharon; Olechowski, Alison (2023): Measuring Gendered Communication Patterns on Enterprise Communication Platforms. Companion Proceedings of the 2023 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work. DOI: 10.1145/3565967.3570981. Association for Computing Machinery. pp. 30–32. Hilton Head, SC, USA