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Can your accent be keeping you from getting that promotion?

Updated: Jun 20, 2019

English is considered to be the global language of business. However, people who are non-native English speakers are often passed over for top managerial positions and venture capital to start their own businesses. Results of a study by three researchers, led by Laura Huang, assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, explained one reason for this phenomenon. In this study, participants rated both native-born Caucasian and Asian-American candidates as more likely to be hired than men with foreign accents. They also found that entrepreneurs with accented English were significantly less likely to have received new-venture funding than those without an accent.

Dianne Markley, a professor at the University of North Texas at Denton (UNT) conducted research focused on how accents affect the hiring process. She says that it is, "almost impossible to speak any language acquired later in life without an accent." Unfortunately, she adds, "sometimes an accent leads to the perception that that person can't perform this job.” In fact, a UNT study showed "an incredibly strong statistical correlation between judging someone as cultured, intelligent, competent, etc., and placing them into prestigious jobs," based on the lack of a readily identified accent.

We know that people who speak English as a second language (ESL) are just as qualified to hold managerial and executive positions as native English speakers. However, the reality is that your accent may be holding you back from reaching your full potential. If you are interested in improving your communication skills through accent modification, the experts at Online Speech Services can help. Complete a brief screening on our website, and we will contact you to schedule your free consultation.


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