“We need to start inviting everyone to the table if we want to have innovation and growth, because we’re losing half our talent here or more because we’re hugely outnumbered as native English speakers. The fact that we have this immediate power and dominance in the world due to our eloquence in English, I see as a massive inequality.”
In this fascinating episode, Jerome and Julienne talk about linguistic bias with Heather Hansen. She is on a mission to empower global voices to contribute to conversations that matter, and in her latest book, ‘Unmuted’, she outlines a framework for successful global communication in multinational companies. Her TEDx talk ‘2 Billion Voices, how to Speak Bad English Perfectly’ has had over 200K views. In this episode, she tells Jerome and Julienne about her career and how a much more holistic view of how communication works (hint: grammar mistakes are usually not the problem!) can impact the culture in an organization.
Even today, the concept of accent bias is still relatively unknown. Heather tells us about the client who made her realize that accents are not the real problem and how this realization changed the course of her career. She questions why certain people speak up, and others have been muted way before that was a term we all became so familiar with, and explains how people can become ‘unmuted’.
Listen to this episode to learn about accent bias, a new and often overlooked aspect of DEI, and how paying attention to this can improve company culture.
Listen to Heather Hansen’s TEDx Talk ‘2 Billion Voices: How to speak bad English perfectly’
Buy Heather Hansen’s book “Unmuted: Unmuted: How to Show Up, Speak Up, and Inspire Action” here
Go here for more information on the assessment, the book and more
Listen to Heather Hansen on NPR’s podcast ‘Rough Translation’