Mentimeter: In-Person Meetings Cause Anxiety as U.S. Workforce Returns to the Office, Particularly Among Women and Diverse Ethnic Groups

 New Study Unveils Over 71% of Participants Want to Engage Anonymously in Both In-Person and Virtual Meetings

TORONTO--()--As U.S. workers return to the office, many are reporting considerable anxiety around in-person meetings, particularly among women and diverse ethnic groups, according to a new survey of American workers by Mentimeter, an audience engagement platform used by more than 280 million people to transform conventional presentations into interactive experiences. A recent survey of nearly 2,000 Americans, who actively lead/participate in meetings, found that a majority worry about not being listened to (65%) and being interrupted (58%) when presenting at work. Similar worries are plaguing meeting participants as well, with 60% worrying about not being listened to and 62% worrying about not being able to engage in a conversation. For both in-person and virtual meetings, over 71% of participants want anonymous ways to engage.

In fact, of the people who are anxious about presenting and participating in meetings, many noted they have used illnesses, including COVID-19, to excuse themselves. About 40% have called in sick, 22% have said they have COVID, and 27% have said they need to care for a sick family member or pet to be exempt from presenting or participating in a meeting.

“Our research found that anxiety around giving an in-person presentation is similar to that of getting married or discussing salary with an employer,” said Johnny Warström, CEO of Mentimeter. “As companies bring employees back to the office and look for paths forward with hybrid work models, business leaders have a unique opportunity to provide tools and resources for workers to not only feel less anxious presenting and participating in meetings but included, particularly for women and diverse ethnic groups.”

Additional findings include:

Women and Diverse Groups Worry More About Not Being Listened to and Being Interrupted When Presenting In-Person

More women are concerned about not being listened to (68%) compared to men (60%) and being interrupted (62% of women versus 56% of men). The study found respondents with diverse backgrounds worry more about being listened to (71%) compared to others (64%) and being interrupted (65% of diverse respondents versus 58% of others).

Female Meeting Participants Worry More About Engaging in Conversation and Getting Points Across Clearly

A significantly higher percentage of women (68%) who participate in meetings worry about being able to engage in the conversation during a meeting compared to men (56%) and not being able to get their point across clearly (69% of women versus 57% of men).

Anonymous Meetings Tools Create Meaningful Impact

Seventy-four percent of survey respondents note that meeting tools enabling them to engage anonymously have helped them feel heard. Seventy-six percent cite the benefits of polls, likes and anonymous comments, and 80% note the importance of having multiple ways to engage.

“The data unearths a significant ethnic and gender divide around feelings toward presenting and participating during in-person meetings,” Warström continued. “Organizations must implement solutions to increase inclusivity and minimize concern toward presentations to elevate every voice. Embracing instruments that enable participants to actively respond and engage in ways that feel comfortable is critical. At Mentimeter, we are building presentation tools that promote meaningful engagement – tools that allow companies to ensure every voice is heard, not just the loudest in the room. Whether it’s engaging anonymously through polls, comments, or reactions, these tools boost inclusivity and capture responses from every audience member to make meetings effective, meaningful and drive business outcomes.”

Results of the survey, which queried 1,995 people ages 18–64-year-old men and women with a job in the United States from March 23-April 5, 2022, uncover the gaps for diverse participants in meetings and identify what can support participation and a productive meeting.

For more information, download the report HERE.

About Mentimeter:

Mentimeter is an audience engagement platform (AEP) that makes it easier to listen and to be heard by transforming passive audiences into active contributors. We are fundamentally changing the culture of presentations, lectures, and workshops in business and education from talking to listening. Whether on-site, remote, or hybrid, Mentimeter creates a unique, transparent, and engaging experience for everyone. Since launching in 2012, more than 280 million people have gathered opinions, questions, and thoughts through our dynamic AEP.


Thomas Dawson, Communications Specialist at Mentimeter


Thomas Dawson, Communications Specialist at Mentimeter