female diver

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Take the Plunge
"If you're feeling uncomfortable in a particular situation, the best thing you can do is enter the discussion early. The longer you wait, the more frightened you may become. I've found that in my classes, female students tend to wait to speak up until they have their responses just right in their heads, while male students jump in with an idea even if it's not worded perfectly. Don't be a shrinking violet. If the guts of your statement are right, that's good enough."

—Molly Bishop Shadel, associate professor at the University of Virginia School of Law, where she teaches oral advocacy and verbal persuasion