Coping with Accent Discrimination in the Corporate World

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Coping with Accent Discrimination in the Corporate World

Corporate executives, living in or traveling to the U.S. on a regular basis to forge relationships with clients, will find accent reduction classes beneficial. The classes will allow them to be understood by the widest possible audience and lessen the chance an important piece of information will be misinterpreted.

Corporate Accent Discrimination

How Can Accent Reduction Classes Help?

Once executives are confident their foreign accent will no longer negatively affect them, they can focus on important issues such as: the message they want to impart upon individual clients, and answers to potential client questions.

English is the international language of business. Many individuals in business share a love of sports. When American business people inadvertently speak using American sports idioms, international clients are sometimes confused.

 Many Americans assume the idioms can be understood throughout the world and pepper their speech with them, thinking they will be more persuasive than straightforward language. Actually, foreign executives are usually unfamiliar with these terms and they serve as another barrier to effective communication.

Accent reduction courses provide executives with a working understanding of American business idioms such as  “Covering all the bases” and “Step up to the plate”.  Similarly, most Americans do not have a working understanding of the British and Australian sports related idioms, which have crossed over into each respective business language.

How Can They Get Away With Discrimination?

  •  Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects individuals from discrimination by their employers, based on their accent. Unfortunately, this branch of protection does not extend to employer hiring practices.
  •  Some employers make judgments about an applicant’s intellect, qualifications and communication if the applicant speaks with an American accent that is not native to the region, or uses terms from an alternate American dialect when answering questions.

In a survey of over 5,000 employers and staff members by the recruitment firm Peninsula, sixty-three percent of the respondents used accent modification methods during interviews because they feared being discriminated against if they spoke in their normal accent. Corporate executives who have taken accent reduction classes themselves, most  likely will not let a potential employee’s accent influence their hiring decision.

2017-03-23T06:47:26-05:00By |