Sunday, October 20, 2019

Women too apologetic in the boardroom - Emphasis

Women too apologetic in the boardroom Women too apologetic in the boardroom The language women use in meetings could be holding them back in business, according to new research. The study, an 18-month long examination of the speaking patterns of men and women within seven major companies, was run by applied linguistics lecturer Dr Judith Baxter. The biggest difference Dr Baxter noticed between the sexes was womens tendency to use humour, self-deprecation and apologetic language, apparently to avoid conflict. Indeed, they were found to be four times more likely to employ these techniques than men, who tended to be more direct and openly confrontational. And this could be undermining their own authority and making them look weak and defensive. [Women] have to work really hard to hit the right note with their colleagues, says Dr Baxter. I have seen a woman use all the wrong linguistic strategies, and she lost the room. This problematic habit occurs most, it seems, where women feel particularly outnumbered by men in meetings. And given that only 12.5 per cent of FTSE-100 company board members are women, the issue looks to have the makings of a vicious circle.

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