Virtual Meetings: Should They Stay or Should They Go?

Anna Lynch
5 min readJun 24, 2021

A look at the democratizing effect for the habitually marginalized

a green mug on a desktop next to an open laptop computer
Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

While we are all experiencing “Zoom fatigue” and looking forward to meeting in person again, it is time to evaluate the role that virtual meetings will have going forward. Many were surprised at how easily they could transition to the virtual workspace while others found it to be a mine pit of problems and exhaustion. And of course, not everyone has the technical setup or space for virtual meetings to be permanent going forward.

I recently had a lengthy discussion with a group of professional women around this topic, and we found that overall, the benefits of virtual meetings outweighed the downsides. Now obviously using virtual meetings for all of your communication is not ideal when you do not have to. But hear me out on all of the benefits that came up in our discussion and then make your own judgment.

Democratizing effect

Virtual meetings have a democratizing effect on the workplace. Everyone has to submit their questions the same way or “raise their hand”. You are either muted by the presenter or have control over your own microphone in the same way that everyone else does. The interruptions are far fewer as people are more careful to make sure that they do not speak over one another. As a result, it is much more obvious when someone is a serial interrupter. For those who previously worked in field offices where they had to call into meetings, all of a sudden, they were in the room with the same level of interaction as everyone else. For women, the virtual meetings phenomenon reduced issues around how to dress. Additionally, being online eliminates issues around physical bearing like height.

For those in the disabled community, virtual meetings enabled them to participate on a more equal footing. People in a wheelchair look just the same as everyone else in their pixelated box. Without the exhaustion that a commute can impose on chronically ill or disabled individuals, many found their productivity rising and their pain improving. For others, like Fifer Charlie Loftus, Zoom meetings gave her an equal place at the table in spite of being 4’6”.

“No one looks down at me because for

Anna Lynch

I am curious about so many things and love to explore them through my writing. Please check out my newsletter at