How women speak can affect their job prospects, research shows

24 November 2022

Dr Jessica Spence from UQ’s School of Psychology spoke with Brisbane Times about research which has found accent-based discrimination during job interviews.

Women who speak with “non-standard” accents face an uphill battle to win jobs against people whose accent matches the majority, while men are rarely affected.

Lead researcher Dr Jessica Spence said the finding was striking as it indicated that women whose accent did not match the majority faced material discrimination – whether intentional or not.

“Accent-based bias in hiring was only present when candidates were female, so when both candidates were female, there was significant preference for the standard-accented candidate over the non-standard one,” Dr Spence said.

“This is certainly suggesting there are some underlying prejudices relating to gender and broader racial and ethnic prejudices.”

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The story was syndicated into The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian and WA Today