Speak Up -The BBC Radio 4 programme with Mary Ann Sieghart aired recently and I was so pleased to be part of this, alongside some high profile professors and lecturers, including the legendary linguist Professor Deborah Cameron. They shared the incontrovertible research, data and evidence that women struggle to speak and be heard in public. I have come at the topic from experience “in the trenches” and from talking to women in business and politics about their lived experiences.
Particularly striking for me in this programme were comments by another contributor on girls and education. Pressure on girls to remain silent in classrooms, causes girls to become “spectators in their own education.”
Women and girls speak up less, because they fear the backlash, unwanted attention and appearance based criticism, so staying quiet is a rational response.
Check it out here Speak Up – particularly the section at the end offering up some solutions to making the necessary changes.