Its debatable…Speak Up!

June 15, 2007

Speaking Skills = Success for Women

Filed under: Debate,Feminism/Gender,Forensics - General — bk2nocal @ 10:49 am

Yet another reason to support your local speech and debate program!  A recent study of 100 female executives in Southern California (not the most representative sample perhaps, but this could be impetus for a study of former participants in speech and debate) showed that public speaking skills were considered the MOST important factor determining professional success.  The results of the study have a few findings that relate to our activity:

  1. Public speaking skills are a “must have” and not a “nice to have” for a professional women today.
  2. Public speaking skills are the “breakthrough” skills that create new opportunities for women.
  3. Public speaking skills are the “breakthrough” skills that allow women to shatter the glass ceiling.

The opportunities that women are provided in developing these skills in high school and college through speech and debate can not only be touted as beneficial, but may be seen as key to overcoming the inequalities that still exist in the workplace.  A recent US Census Bureau report showed women making only 77 cents for every dollar made by a man. 

Although we constantly discuss the importance of women in our activity, perhaps we would do well to tout the importance of our activity to women! An interesting perspective to consider.  I would like to see if the study would hold up in a broader and more academic application.  Something to consider for future study.

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